No matter what type of materials or chemicals you work with, precautions need to be taken to ensure it is safe to handle. This is where dilution comes useful. The methodology behind dilution is to use a balance gas, such as Nitrogen, to change the concentration of your substance without lowering or increasing the levels of the included gas of interest.  

Diluting the concentration of a material can be important when working with pure, expensive or rare gases and when cost prohibits sourcing lower concentrations. With that said, if you are interested in achieving a greater dilution range, you may need to use double dilution. 

The basic premise behind double dilution is to take your substance and repeat the dilution process two times. That way you can have more control over the solution’s concentration. From there, double dilution can then be applied to different experiments that need to compare various dilution ranges. One thing to consider is that each dilution stage’s accuracy is within a range of +/-1%, thus double dilution sacrifices accuracy.

Our article is going to hone in on this procedure and how it obtains a desired concentration. More precisely, we are going to consider how dilution factors are used for calculations and how a serial dilution is undertaken. 

The Essence of Double Dilution

Double dilution, by definition, reduces the concentration of a substance through two sequential dilution steps. Understanding double dilution is essential when the gap between the initial concentration and the desired concentration is vast. The technique is particularly significant in sectors requiring high precision in final concentrations, such as industries that involve: 

  • Semiconductors
  • Aerospace
  • Biotechnology.

Precision in Gas Dilution: The Series 3000 System

The Series 3000 System underscores the need for precision in diluting gasses to specific concentrations. By diluting a gas sample with a balance gas, and then further diluting this mixture, the system enables the creation of gas mixtures at precise concentrations. This level of control is crucial in applications where the exact gas mixture composition can influence outcomes significantly. A particular benefit of the S3000 is its custom software, wherein you input starting and output concentrations, and the system determines both steps. This makes the system extremely user friendly.

A Detailed Guide to Double Dilution

Initial Considerations for Double Dilution

The first step in a successful double dilution process involves identifying the available cylinder’s concentration. Through this identification as well as the final desired concentration, it is possible to calculate the dilution factors necessary for each step needed for the dilution.

First Dilution: Establishing the Base

The initial dilution step involves diluting the gas of interest with a balance gas to decrease its concentration. In most cases, the first dilution will be a fixed dilution, for example 1000:1. This is calculated based on the desired final concentration, and the initial cylinder concentration for the gas of interest. This step is crucial for creating a base diluted solution from which further dilution will occur.

Serial Dilution and Dilution Factors

After establishing the first diluted gas flow, a serial dilution process can be employed for the second dilution step. Serial dilution involves diluting a portion of this initial flow, while venting the remaining balance. Calculating the correct dilution factor for each step is vital to ensure that the final dilution yields the target concentration.

Achieving the Desired Concentration

The essence of double dilution is not just to reduce the concentration of a solution but to do so in a way that precisely achieves a predetermined final concentration. This involves careful planning of both the dilution factor and the flows for each dilution step. By adjusting these parameters, one can ensure that the final diluted solution closely matches the desired concentration.

The Role of the Final Output Flow

The final output flow of the diluted gas of interest plays a critical role in achieving the desired concentration. It is essential to calculate the final flow rate needed to reach the target concentration after considering the dilution factors applied in the double dilution process. This calculation ensures that the final dilution step accurately achieves the desired concentration at the required total flow rate.

Advantages of Double Dilution

The double dilution process, particularly when executed with systems like the Series 4040, offers numerous benefits:

  • High Precision and repeatability: It can achieve specific concentrations with very large dilution rations. The concentrations offered by double dilution are critical in industries where even minor deviations can have significant effects. 
  • Efficiency and Cost Savings: Double dilution minimizes material waste and saves time by enabling precise concentration adjustments. Large dilution ranges can be achieved with a single, high concentration starting cylinder.
  • Customization: This technique supports the creation of custom gas mixtures tailored to specific needs. Through this, it can foster innovation and progress across various fields.

Double Dilution Can Help You Achieve the Perfect Concentration 

Different concentrations can affect the outcome of your research and experiments. Not only can they affect how quickly a reaction occurs, but whether examinations between different samples can offer reliable results. 

Double dilution can ensure that you maintain full control over dilution ranges in your samples. This means that the material or substance will be safe to use in a real application. 

Additional applications of double dilution can involve: 

  • Creating specific sample proportions
  • Analyzing compounds of drugs for medical applications
  • Studying the amount of pollution in the air or earth to monitor different environments.

Now that you understand double dilution, it is time to apply it to your own work. Environics can help you do this! Our tools, like the Series 4040 Diluting System, can ensure your concentrations are optimized. 

Here at Environics, our experts know a lot about gas dilution, and are willing to share their knowledge with you. Contact us today to see how we can help you with your double dilution projects.