Understanding Bunsen Burners Featuring Eisco NextGen™ Burners

Understanding Bunsen Burners Featuring Eisco NextGen™ Burners

Bunsen burners have been a staple in laboratories for over 150 years.  Bunsen burners allow users to control the burning of natural gas while maximizing temperature and minimizing luminosity.  For the most part the design of Bunsen burners has remained unchanged, however Eisco Scientific saw an opportunity to modify the basic design with innovative features that makes our NextGen™ burners safer and easier to use in any laboratory setting.

The innovative features of Eisco Scientific NextGen™ burners include:

  • A square base with extended broad legs to prevent the burner from tipping even when a hose is connected
  • Placement of the broad legs at each corner of the square base to allow the burners to fit better under a variety of lab stands
  • Any easy to carry handle candle stick style holder that allows users to easily move the burners without touching any hot parts
  • Tapered gas inlets that ensure a secure tubing connection between the burner and gas source
  • A die-cast alloy base that is coated with a non-toxic powdered coating making the burner base rust and chemical resistant 

 

Different Types of Bunsen Burners

There are several different types of bunsen burners to choose from depending on your gas source and experimental conditions.  To begin you need to choose a model designed for use with the gas source available in your laboratory; natural gas (methane) or liquid petroleum gas (propane, butane, or a mixture of both).  It is very important to only use Bunsen burners with the gas source that they are intended for.

Next, you may need to take the BTU range and maximum temperature of burner models into consideration.  Standard burners can typically reach a maximum temperature of 1,500°C.  If your application requires a higher temperature a Meker burner may be required; they typically reach 1,780°C.

Standard natural gas burners

  • BTU range: 800-1,200
  • Max Temp.: 1,500°C

 

Meker natural gas burners

  • BTU range: 2,000-3,200
  • Max Temp.: 1,500°C

 

Standard liquid petroleum burners

  • BTU range: 600-1,100
  • Max Temp.: 1,780°C

 

Meker liquid petroleum burners

  • BTU range: 1,900-3,100
  • Max Temp.: 1,780°C

 

Finally you may want to take into consideration how much control a user can have over the flame produced by the burner as some models allow users to only control the amount of air flowing to the flame while others allow users to control the amount of gas and air flow to the flame.  Here is a table that summarizes the features and uses for each NextGen™ burner:

NextGen™ Burner Type Natural Gas Model Liquid Petroleum Model Air Flow Control Gas Flow Control Usage Comments
Basic Burner CH0991NG CH0991LP N N Very basic, easy to use burner. Perfect for beginner student use or need for economical model. Gas flow is controlled at gas source, not at burner.
Burner with Flame Stabilizer CH0992NG CH0992LP Y N Most common basic academic burner with air flow control
Burner with Flame Stabilizer and Gas Adjustment CH0993NG CH0993LP Y Y Beset selling and most used burner due to ability to control the gas and air flow to the flame
Micro Burner CH0994NG CH0994LP Y Y Great burner when there are space and especially height restrictions
Meker Burner CH0996NG CH0996LP Y Y The burner to use when you need a flame that is hotter than that of a traditional bunsen burner
Tirrill Burner CH0995NG

CH0996LP

y Y Perfect burner selection when you need to finely control the temperature AKA air and gas mixture to flame

 

 

Safely Using a Bunsen Burner

*Please be advised that this is a summary of important points to keep in mind while using a bunsen burner in a laboratory.  This should not replace formal training for proper use. Please refer to any applicable instruction manuals and safety manuals at your facility.

 

Before you Begin:

  1. Check your tubing for any cracks, pinch points, holes or damage of any kind. If the tube is damaged, discard the tube and get a new one. If the end of the tube in uneven, you should cut off the uneven part and throw it away to get a clean edge.
  2. Find a work area away from any overhead shelving, equipment or light fixtures by at least 12 inches.
  3. Clear the work area of any extra materials, anything combustible, papers or notebooks. Only approved stands and clamps should be used to hold objects over a flame.
  4. Gather all materials and supplies you will need to conduct your experiment and have them at arm’s reach before you connect your Bunsen burner. This includes a sparker/lighter or matches. Never leave a Bunsen burner unattended.
  5. Double check yourself for any loose clothing or any object such as ties or necklaces that dangle. Wear appropriate safety equipment.
  6. Make sure any other person in the laboratory knows you will be using a Bunsen burner.

 

Set Up:

  1. Connect the tube to the gas supply nozzle on one end and  the burner's gas inlet on the other end.  All Eisco NextGen burners accomodate 6-8mm tubing. We suggest approximately 3 ft of tubing.
  2. Close the air ports on the burner (if available) by twisting to the left.
  3. Turn on the gas source.
  4. Strike the sparker/lighter about 5 cm above the top of the Bunsen burner until it lights.
  5. If using a match, light the match and bring the lit match alongside the barrel of the burner and raise it slowly over the edge of the barrel from the side.
  6. Adjust the flame by slowly twisting the air port until the flame is the correct temperature for your experiment.

 

During Use:

A.  Controlling the Flame:

  1. Fuel to Air Ratio - The fuel to air ratio will determine the intensity and type of flame produced. When the air valve on a burner is closed, the flame will be a "safety flame" or "luminous flame" - a much cooler and dirty, yellow flame. As the air valve is opened, the flame becomes much less bright and significantly hotter.
  2. Gas Adjustment Throttle - The amount of fuel being used is controlled by the throttle. Some of our burners have throttle controls built on them (like on the Tirrill and Meker burners) and other are controlled from the fuel source. Depending on your setup, you will want to figure out whether you want additional throttle control on the burner itself.

 

B.  Types of Flames:

  1. Safety Flame -  This flame is yellow, easy to see and allows others to remember that your bunsen burner is on. It is not used for heating materials for an experiment. 
  2. Medium Blue Flame - This flame is blue and useful for most laboratory applications.  
  3. Roaring Blue Flame -  (This is the only flame that makes noise) It is the hottest flame with the hottest part of the flame being just at the tip of the white cone in the middle of the blue flame. 

 

When Finished :

  1. Shut off gas when the experiment is finished
  2. Wait until all labware as well as the tip of the Bunsen burner itself is completely cool before handling or storing labware.

 


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