2014 Volume 5 Issue 1 Pages 9-17
To obtain information on chemical reagent behavior in a laboratory environment, the time and place of chemical usage was analyzed through a case study approach. A Radio Frequency Identification system and web cameras were used for collecting data from checkout logs of reagents in storage and for monitoring chemical bottle traffic. Checkout duration was generally classified into two groups: short duration (10 minutes or shorter), and long duration (longer than 30 minutes). Reagents with estimable pre-experiment amounts tend to belong to the short duration group.Refrigerated reagents or those with process-dependent amounts belong to the long duration group. Usage location refers to where reagents are used within the experiment location such as near a balance or in a fume hood. It was discovered that the lab bench often functions as a hub before and after moving to another task location. Observations suggest that each reagent is used only at one location for each checkout from storage. In addition, though the usage location is generally determined by experiment task, other factors sometimes affect reagent usage location: easy accessibility, equipment location, and shared nature of a laboratory to name a few. Some information on the behavior of chemical reagents in a real laboratory proves unobtainable by conventional chemical inventory system methods. This research not only elucidates the characteristics of reagent use in a laboratory but also provides useful knowledge for experiment setup scenarios essential for assessing risk of instability in experiments.