Biotool's safety burner

By Dr Matt Wilkinson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Infrared Fluid dynamics

Swiss-firm Biotool has released a new Bunsen burner, the LabFlame,
that features a safety control system as well as automatic ignition
and gas cut off.

With the release of the LabFlame, Biotool aims to improve laboratory safety by eliminating the risk of gas leaks from Bunsen burners, while increasing their ease of use and improving their efficiency. "When the flame is off the unit closes the gas safety tap eliminating the risk of explosion,"​ said Josef Macaluso, managing director of Biotool. This latest release from Biotool continues the company's focus on producing high quality instruments with enhanced performance, safety and reliability to accelerate laboratory workflows. The LabFlame constantly measures the temperature of the flame and if the temperature changes the gas safety switch automatically turns the burner off. This switch is also activated if the burner fails to light, eliminating the risk of a burner flame being extinguished without the gas being properly turned off. This could potentially lead to a build up of flammable gas that can explode if ignited by turning the lights on. Researchers forgetting to turn the gas off has been the cause of many fires and explosions in laboratories around the world and has led to many institutions removing house gas supplies in favour of small cylinders. This has increased the need for efficient burners, and Biotool has addressed this issue by allowing the user to programme how long the burner stays on after ignition. The burner features an ignition switch that can be operated by either a foot switch or a touch free, programmable infra red (IR) sensor that detects when a hand is waved passed the sensor. "The LabFlame display shows the residual heat in the so there is no need to manually touch it to find out that it is still hot,"​ said Macaluso. The low body profile and streamlined design of the burner reduces air flow disturbances in fume hoods and laminar flow benches, minimising the risk of turbulence that can cause contaminated air to escape into the laboratory. The UV-resistant design ensures the LabFlame will be particularly at home in microbiology laboratories where UV light is used to kill traces of bacteria. This light can cause plastics to crack and break. The new burner will cost in the range of €500, but Biotool believe this a small price to pay for the increased safety and efficiency the burner offers.

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