Use of Filtered Hoods in an Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory

Stacy O'Reilly, Butler University

In 2010, the Department of Chemistry at Butler University was faced with the reality that the teaching laboratories for organic chemistry were becoming unsafe. A complete remodel of the organic teaching laboratories was required, but available funds prohibited significant work to the 40 plus year old building's HVAC system. Utilization of filtered fume hoods enabled the redesign, demolition and renovation of two eighteen hundred square foot organic teaching laboratories in less than eight months. This was accomplished on a limited budget and while still delivering academic content. Substantial work was done to convince faculty members that the filtered hoods would provide a safe alternative to traditional fume hoods. Though the hoods were initially considered based on cost and time constraints, the bigger benefit was the safety and sustainably these hoods provide. Six years later, faculty members in the Department have turned to filtered hoods and related technology for chemical storage and rotary evaporation enclosures for research laboratories. The safety of filtered fume hoods, the results of the testing of the saturated filters, and how both safety and savings can be achieved will be discussed.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how new technology, rather than an update of existing technology, may be a better option in the renovation of existing laboratory spaces.
  • Proactively work with faculty members and staff to understand benefits of filtered hoods.
  • Realize that filtered hoods can be tried on a small scale before committing to a larger scale installation.
  • Articulate to support staff how energy savings can be used to provide upkeep on filtered hoods.


Stacy O'Reilly is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Butler University. As a faculty member at Butler for over twenty years, she has served the University in several capacities including as Chair of the Department of Chemistry. Her teaching interests include general, organic and inorganic chemistry. Stacy maintains an active program in the area of organometallic chemistry.


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