Here is a description of the function of a desiccator, this is about as technical as it gets.
Desiccators are sealable enclosures containing desiccants used for preserving mo…isture-sensitive items. .
A common use for desiccators is to protect hygroscopic (Water Attracting) items such as honey, glycerin, ethanol, methanol; from humidity..
In laboratory use, the most common desiccators are circular, and made of heavy glass although plastic desiccators such as polycarbonate are available. .
There is usually a removable platform on which the items to be stored are placed. The desiccant, usually an otherwise-inert solid such as silica gel, fills the space under the platform..
By selecting different drying agents for the lower chamber, the humidity in the desiccator can be adjusted from very moist to bone dry. This will enable samples kept inside to be held at the optimum humidity for the application at hand..
The high surface area of silica gel absorbs any moisture present within the chamber, thus keeping the items dry..
A stopcock (Valve / tap) may be included to permit the desiccator to be evacuated. (Air removed) Such models are usually known as vacuum desiccators. To maintain a good seal, vacuum grease is usually applied to the flanges..
Once the air is pumped out, the stopcock on the desiccator can be turned to seal it off from the pump and thereby retain the interior vacuum..
When the stored samples are required, the stopcock is rotated to allow entry of air (or an inert atmosphere) thereby making it possible to open the formerly evacuated chamber..
This kind of desiccator is almost always used when the samples to be stored must be kept as dry as possible or if the stored samples could be harmed by contact with air..
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