[Histonet] solvent recyclers - long response

Elizabeth Chlipala liz at premierlab.com
Fri Mar 24 14:00:51 CDT 2017


I believe that both the B/R an CBG recyclers are fractional distillation units, and to be honest I'm not even certain why I choose the CBG over B/R instrument when I purchased.  Prior to purchasing the CBG I was using the Suncycle Technologies system, these less expensive systems are more like filters and are not fractional distillation units, For alcohol percentage you get out what you put in.

We have been using the CBG recycler for many years now, we recycle our 95 and 100 alcohol (I think it was around 2008 or so when we purchased it - we have a  5 liter system) - adding lower percentage alcohols to the mix just decreases the alcohol percentage of the output.  We also recycle our xylene and propar.  We do have defined SOP's that govern everything and we test the xylene for water content and record lot numbers for the xylene generated. The alcohol is checked with a hydrometer, adjusted for temp prior to making up lower percentage alcohols, and again we document with in house generated lot number  for the lower grade alcohols we make.  We use the recycled xylene and alcohol in both the stainer and tissue processor, we even use recycled xylene in the coverslipper.  The only place we do not use recycled xylene is in the cleaning xylene station on the tissue processor we use new xylene for that.  Our instrument is serviced every other year, we are a low volume lab.  

Recycling has saved us money in reagents and in disposal, since we started recycling our waste classification changed from small quantity generator to conditionally exempt small quantity generator, so that saves us in additional fees for a state waste certificate and other regulatory documentation, training, etc.  that is required once you become a small quantity generator.  

In my opinion and I would say our clients opinions also, recycling has not affected the quality of our product, we process very small samples such as cartilage pellets up to large 2 x 3 slide research samples like lion vocal cords or portions of canine mandibles.  We have done extensive testing on the precision and accuracy of our IHC and H&E staining via image analysis and the quality of our processing, routine, special and IHC is consistent and has not been affected at all since we began recycling.   I firmly believe that you need to manage the reagents accordingly and make sure you follow the instructions and limitations of the instrument, for example you MUST not recycle any alcohol that has been used in deparaffinization.    The documentation that we require does take some time but in our environment as GLP compliant lab it is required.  

There has been some extensive discussion on the value of recycling recently on the histonet and I would say that there are individuals that will not agree with my opinion, but based upon our experience it does works for us and I feel that it is of value personally.

On another note - Congrats on your retirement!!


Elizabeth A. Chlipala, BS, HTL(ASCP)QIHC
Premier Laboratory, LLC
PO Box 18592
Boulder, CO 80308
(303) 682-3949 office
(303) 682-9060 fax
(303) 881-0763 cell
liz at premierlab.com

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Premier Laboratory, LLC
1567 Skyway Drive, Unit E
Longmont, CO 80504

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Richmond via Histonet [mailto:histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu] 
Sent: Friday, March 24, 2017 12:01 PM
To: Histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: Re: [Histonet] solvent recyclers

A few years ago the B/R spinning-band stills were definitely the still of choice for recovering histologic solvents, and the older generation of CBG machine were inadequate. I think though that the later generation of CBG stills predominates today. I don't know how they work. Could somebody give us an update on this subject?

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Maryville TN
Histonet mailing list
Histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu

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