When it comes to working in a lab, one of the most important factors is employing equipment that can reduce the chance of error. Bottle top dispensers – also known as bottle caps for the way they attach to glass or plastic bottles – may not be the only way to portion liquids and reagents, but they are among the most accurate. While you could use, for example, a beaker or graduated cylinder for the same purpose, a bottle top dispenser is safer because it presents no risk of spill and it’s less susceptible to causing errors.
The devices can be used for a wide variety of applications, including mixing medications and laboratory chemicals, as well as dispensing liquids such as CBD oils.
Which Bottle Top Dispenser Might Be Right for Me?
Bottle top dispensers, such as the popular DLAB DispensMate series, come in a wide range of shapes and capacities (0.5mL to 50mL), along with adaptors to fit different bottle sizes, to accommodate the demands of different labs. Some are designed for organic chemicals, while others are optimized for hydrofluoric acid. Using the wrong dispenser for your chemicals could result in damage to your equipment and could present a safety risk to the user, as well. When purchasing a bottle top dispenser, always check the manufacturer’s chemical resistance chart to make certain that the one you buy matches your needs.
When dealing with more hazardous chemicals, electronic bottle top dispensers like the dTrite Digital Burette allow the user to remain at a distance for optimum safety. It also features a built-in magnetic stirrer for the titration process.
Part of preventing errors in weighing or measuring is calibration. No scientist would use a balance or a pipette that hasn’t been calibrated, and a bottle top dispenser should be treated in the same manner. It’s part of Good Laboratory Practice.
Bottle top dispensers are typically calibrated using water, which works well for liquids of a similar density. If you’ll be using your dispenser for liquids of a density or viscosity significantly different from water, you’ll need to calibrate your dispenser accordingly.
At the end of the day, always rinse your dispenser with distilled water to prevent corrosive liquids from damaging equipment.
When dispensing liquid, be sure the discharge tube points away from you or anyone nearby and be cautious to avoid splashing.
Always remember to read the product manual and make sure to note any limitations (such as specific reagents, temperature, pressure, viscosity and density) of your device before use to make the best use of your bottle top dispenser!