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One man’s waste is another man’s treasure, dry ice for all at Rudbeck Laboratory

Shared dry ice = less waste!

The Rudbeck Laboratory consist of several laboratories belonging to different departments at the Faculty of Medicine at Uppsala University and clinical laboratories belonging to Uppsala University Hospital. The Campus Facility Management (CFM) has created a work environment aimed at coordinating infrastructural functions to be able to offer the same service for laboratories irrespective of principal.

The Rudbeck Lab at Uppsala University

The CFM constantly works for a sustainable environment. Structures and routines are implemented to aid in the quest of a healthier work environment and less negative impact on climate changes. Coordination of chemical waste to make it easier for researchers to dispose environmentally dangerous chemicals in the right way with limited impact on the environment. The CFM offers Joint storage of low-temperature freezers and nitrogen tanks. The freezers are set at -70 °C, serviced once a year in order to detect CO2 leakage, and continuously monitored through alarms 24/7. The nitrogen tank rooms have adapted ventilation and alarm systems for checking the oxygen content in the room. Nitrogen replenishment is coordinated for all tanks and takes place in a safe and environmentally friendly manner within the hospital infrastructure to reduce the impact on the environment.  The purchasing, handling, and washing of laboratory coats is also coordinated in order to make less of an impact on the environment.

Shared low-temperature freezers and liquid nitrogen decrease net resource use

The next step during 2021 was to coordinate dry ice for everyone. Previously individual labs would obtain dry ice through different deliveries and let it evaporate in the labs. A new storage box has enabled other labs at the campus to make use of the existing dry ice, one man’s  waste one other man’s treasure!

shared insulated dry ice storage

The box stores and preserves the dry ice for a longer period and it can be reused to ship samples or for sample collection in biobanks. The turnover is approximately 100-200kg of dry ice per week the dry ice can now be utilized in by all at Rudbeck Laboratory. Dry ice that would otherwise have evaporated into 50 000- 100 000 L of CO2. It is difficult to estimate how much evaporates in the box and how much is reused for new purposes. There is however a decline in transport of dry ice to the campus and much more is reused, one man’s waste a other man’s treasure.

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