Development And Maintenance Of Science Laboratory Equipment Techniques
This research examined the problem of development and maintenance of science laboratory equipment techniques in Nigerian Universities. Four universities in Edo state were used as case study. A designed research questionnaire on laboratory equipment maintenance was used to collect in relevant data for the study. The questionnaire was given to Head of laboratories, laboratory Directors, Chief technologist and technologist in various universities, also, some of these people were interviewed orally on effective use of laboratory equipment and how science laboratory equipment can be best maintained in a university system. Data collected were analyzed using the information on the questionnaires and oral interview conducted. Findings show that laboratory equipment’s facilities in these universities were inadequate. While student and staff maintenance culture contributed to high destruction of available facilities. The maintenance culture of laboratory equipment in both public and private institutions in Nigeria is very poor while student and staff maintenance culture contributed to high destruction of available facilities. The problems identified in this research are inadequate staffing, lack of proper documentation on the equipment, unstable poor supply, lack of funds for replacement of worn-out or obsolete equipment and poor staff development.
1.1 Background Of The Study
Great effort and expense are currently required for the maintenance and development of science equipment in the laboratory. These equipment are referred to the various tool and equipment used by scientist working in a laboratory. An important type of equipment which will be used in the report of this project is the laboratory glassware. Examples of this glassware are burettes, beaker, test tubes, conical flask pipette etc. These equipment are generally used either to perform an experiment or to take measurement and gather date/results from the experiment. But a more sophisticated equipment is generally called a scientific instrument.
The maintenance and development of these scientific equipment are indispensable for scientific research. According to statistics, over 70% of the Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, Biology and medicine were achieved with the help of different types of instruments and equipment both normal and advanced. And the advancement of modern science and biotechnology will more and more depend on the development of scientific equipment and instruments. Today, scientific equipment and instruments are under rapid development in the fields of spectrum, chromatography, dectrochemisty biochemistry, united technology and microbe (Abdul & Gibson, 1991).
One of the primary ways of maintaining the laboratory equipment is through the availability of “wash bottles”. This wash bottle has the name “wash” and “bottle”. It is a scientific equipment made of polyethylene which has a flexible solvent resistant petroleum-based plastic. It is usually filled with water. Its function is to wash the laboratory equipment as washing is part of maintenance and development processes. The wash bottles contain water which is mainly de-ionized. The essence of the de-ionized water prescribed for use in wash bottles is to aid in filtration (washing of precipitate, etc.) The wash bottles provide water which is used in washing of laboratory equipment and most especially, for washing of laboratory glassware (Brinton, 1987).
The provision of an equipment which is uniquely adapted, and which is effective for such purpose of delivery (water) liquid without the cleansing liquid either leaking onto the hands or otherwise by-passing the stream when applied for use gave rise to the wash bottles, we have today. The wash bottles do not only contain water. It can also contain other chemicals apart from acetone or ether. This is because these two chemicals tend to reach with the poly ethylene chemical, used in the production of the rubber bottle of the wash bottles. Other chemicals apart from the two listed above and which can be used in washing of laboratory equipment may also be stored in a wash bottle. It is strictly advised that the wash bottle be labeled for safety and other purpose (Brinton, 1987).
1.2 Aims Of The Study
The study aims at the development and maintenance of science laboratory equipment techniques. Specifically, it will focus on the maintenance culture of science laboratory equipment in Nigerian Universities.
1.3 Significance Of The Study
The significance of the study which based on the fabrication of wash bottles centers on the need to maintain and develop laboratory equipment. It maintains and prepares the lab equipment such as the laboratory glassware for use again after a previous use of such equipment has been made.
The significant of the study which based on the fabrication of wash bottle is seen by the special unique feature of wash bottles which designed or fabricated in such a way that the liquid inside the wash bottle will be easily pushed out and properly directed to the area it is needed.
5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation
The maintenance culture of laboratory equipment in Nigerian universities has been examined. It was discovered that the maintenance culture of science laboratory equipment in both public and private institutions in Nigeria is very poor. The following are the identified challenges affecting good maintenance culture in Nigerian universities.
- Lack of effective structure or system put in place by the various management or Head of departments in the universities considered on laboratory maintenance.
- Inadequate staffing
- Lack of proper documentation
- Unstable power supply
- Lack of funds for replacement of worn-out or obsolete equipment and
- Poor staff development.
The following recommendations were made based on the findings of the study;
- A good structure that allow effective maintenance culture should be put in place in every laboratory.
- University management should give regular budgeting allocation for laboratory equipment maintenance.
- Students using the laboratory should be given proper orientation on laboratory equipment maintenance.
- The laboratory technician should be sent for training from time to time to develop themselves so as to know how to repair and maintain laboratory equipment.
- Qualified personnel should be made to handle the laboratory equipment.
- There should be a balance room, where sensitive instrument are kept.
- Analytical equipment are highly sensitive equipment that must be operated by an experienced personnel in handling such equipment there are some lay down rules must strictly be followed and there should be a log book for each of the equipment.
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