Electric Bunsen Burners???

Hi fellow techies. We are in the process of getting a new build but were informed last week that as it will be a green school there will be no fossil fuel burning allowed, hence no gas bunsen burners!! We are being asked to look into alternatives particularly electric bunsens ranging from £200 to £700 each Has anyone experience of them and how do you deliver micro without that magical blue flame? Any feedback would be great to help fight our corner. Many thanks Shirley
 

CovTech

Lvl 37 Alchemist
COMMITTEE
Hi fellow techies. We are in the process of getting a new build but were informed last week that as it will be a green school there will be no fossil fuel burning allowed, hence no gas bunsen burners!! We are being asked to look into alternatives particularly electric bunsens ranging from £200 to £700 each Has anyone experience of them and how do you deliver micro without that magical blue flame? Any feedback would be great to help fight our corner. Many thanks Shirley
That's prohibitively expensive and would prevent you doing any practicals which rely on the naked flame - coloured ion tests spring to mind and they are one of the required practicals on most of the syllabuses

I'd contact CLEAPSS were I you - surely they could construct the case that even in a "green school" science must be the exception as purely electrical heating - be that by these weird things or heating mantles - limits the learning experience of the kids unnecessarily
 
I think I read somewhere on CLEAPSS about schools trying to do this and to contact them??
I cant find where I read it though
 

Peter Sigsworth

COMMITTEE
Hi fellow techies. We are in the process of getting a new build but were informed last week that as it will be a green school there will be no fossil fuel burning allowed, hence no gas bunsen burners!! We are being asked to look into alternatives particularly electric bunsens ranging from £200 to £700 each Has anyone experience of them and how do you deliver micro without that magical blue flame? Any feedback would be great to help fight our corner. Many thanks Shirley
Someone in the school management team must see common sense and make an exception for science lessons. They obviously haven't thought it through and they are probably taking advice from a 'job's worth' H&S consultant!!!!
 
Thinking further - how are you going to teach safe use of bunsens, flame tests, burning Mg ribbon, or many other experiments which require the use of a bunsen. How is the tech going to do any glasswork. Absolutely ridiculous.

Indeed. But knowing how most SLMTs work, they will want to see "evidence" (common sense usually not counted as such) that the benefits of a bunsen outweighs going green.
Focus on the students' impact because frankly they couldn't care less about a tech's inconveniences.
You should make a clear list detailing what practicals cannot be done and why. Put particular emphasis on core practicals.
Also make a list of technician activities you cannot do, such as glasswork, and the cost of replacing broken delivery tubes etc.

I mean surely just the cost of replacing a broken electric heater should be enough to take a step back and go hmm hold on a sec?...
 

Peter Sigsworth

COMMITTEE
Indeed. But knowing how most SLMTs work, they will want to see "evidence" (common sense usually not counted as such) that the benefits of a bunsen outweighs going green.
Focus on the students' impact because frankly they couldn't care less about a tech's inconveniences.
You should make a clear list detailing what practicals cannot be done and why. Put particular emphasis on core practicals.
Also make a list of technician activities you cannot do, such as glasswork, and the cost of replacing broken delivery tubes etc.

I mean surely just the cost of replacing a broken electric heater should be enough to take a step back and go hmm hold on a sec?...
great advise @Emil Retaw - evidence the reasons to keep bunsens especially core practicals

I'm glad I was educated a while back.
 
Especially the thing you already mentioned - microbiology. Without the up-draught from the flame and the flaming of materials, there's an increased risk both of escape of happy little microbes looking to infect and a lack of learning about the aseptic technique, which has a habit of making occasional appearances on assessments...

Might have to reword that for SLT.

The aseptic technique etc are advised by CLEAPSS, so the onus would be on SLT to provide written evidence that they've sought, found and implemented a suitable alternative.
 

Peter Sigsworth

COMMITTEE
Especially the thing you already mentioned - microbiology. Without the up-draught from the flame and the flaming of materials, there's an increased risk both of escape of happy little microbes looking to infect and a lack of learning about the aseptic technique, which has a habit of making occasional appearances on assessments...

Might have to reword that for SLT.
Another great piece of evidence @TechNewham. Keep going peeps - make the case to show what a stupid idea they have to stop bunsens in science.
 
Especially the thing you already mentioned - microbiology. Without the up-draught from the flame and the flaming of materials, there's an increased risk both of escape of happy little microbes looking to infect and a lack of learning about the aseptic technique, which has a habit of making occasional appearances on assessments...

Might have to reword that for SLT.

The aseptic technique etc are advised by CLEAPSS, so the onus would be on SLT to provide written evidence that they've sought, found and implemented a suitable alternative.
They will need a class set of laminar flow hoods.

For the gas they could use piped hydrogen or set up a biogas unit in the toilets. :laughing:
 
Get a quote from a green supplier for a biogas plant (methane digester) for the school. See their eyes water at the cost.
 

ajmc98

Don't lick, smell or touch it and you won't die.
You should ask for a company car that's electric to reduce car emissions, or a scooter ;)

Do you think they realise the majority of national grid power comes from burning fossil fuels, unless they're going to go fully self sufficient power and build an arc reactor like Tony Stark.
 
You should ask for a company car that's electric to reduce car emissions, or a scooter ;)

Do you think they realise the majority of national grid power comes from burning fossil fuels, unless they're going to go fully self sufficient power and build an arc reactor like Tony Stark.

The idea of going green is good. You have to start somewhere at the end of the day, but common sense needs to prevail and a compromise between practicality and being environmentally friendly needs to be made until the technology has been fully optimized and distributed.
 
What annoys me is that this new building will likely be used as a PR exercise for the SLMT to stroke their own wireless dongle with parents whilst the technicians and teachers have to put up with the practical problems on a daily basis. Meanwhile (at my school at least), kids will still throw non-degradable rubbish on the floor, do bucket chemistry generating tons of useless toxic waste and chuck solids down the sink because it's convenient. :mad:
 
...Do you think they realise the majority of national grid power comes from burning fossil fuels...

Thankfully, we have moved beyond that..


Energy SourceUK Average
Source: BEIS
Coal3.9%
Natural gas39.4%
Nuclear16.6%
Renewables37.9%
Other fuels2.2%
Environmental Impact
 
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