Sustainability for Centrifuges

Besides pipettes, centrifuges are one of the mostly used instruments in the lab. Literally all protocols and workflows require one or more steps where samples need to be centrifuged or spinned.

How can I find a sustainable centrifuge?

Energy savings
There are two significant power consuming steps during centrifugation: the acceleration of the rotor as well as chamber temperature management. Cooling, performed by a compressor system, is mandatory for many high-value samples. A weak cooling system does save energy but you may risk your samples due to insufficient temperature control, ending up in a potential repetition of the experiment.

A reliable centrifuge should last for many years. The longevity of equipment is an essential aspect in the sustainability calculation for lab instruments. High quality parts and robust design enable years of trouble free usage in the lab. 

Intuitive handling, low noise levels, low loading heights, or light rotors are further ergonomic building blocks to generate a sustainable centrifuge.

Cooling liquids
Refrigerated or cooled centrifuges are based on a compressor and cooling liquids to keep the required temperature within the rotor and your samples. Based on an European Union regulation (EU_517/2014), classic cooling liquids like R134a need to be replaced in a midterm perspective to counteract global warming. This is (status quo) limited to new equipment. Existing centrifuges can be continuously used without any limitations.
Still, all major centrifuge suppliers spend R&D capacities on green, future-proof cooling liquids. Due to the high kinetic energy of centrifuges and related strict safety regulations for these instruments, the usage of burnable cooling agents like propane or ethane (which are common standard for ULT freezers) requires a substantial increase in research efforts.

Centrifuge 5427 R – with Hydrocarbon Cooling

Eppendorf now offers Centrifuge 5427 R with hydrocarbon cooling – the first centrifuge in our portfolio with a natural refrigerant – to protect your samples, and the planet. 

However, this versatile microcentrifuge does not only support you on your way to a greener lab. It is the perfect device for labs with a multiplicity of different molecular biology applications or in need of high-throughput solutions for 1.5 – 2 mL tubes – all combined in a microcentrifuge with the highest sample/footprint-ratio within the Eppendorf microcentrifuge range.

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Learn more about the product life cycle

  • Focus on electronic  documentation to reduce amount of printing paper and toner
  • Change to recycling paper for all printers and copy machines
  • Supply by 100% renewable energy
  • Special cabinets for storage of dangerous chemical reagents
  • Installation of motion detectors for automatic light switch-off in adjoining rooms
  • Reduction of lights at parking lot overnight 
  • Timer-based switch-off of coffee machines overnight and at weekends
  • Re-usable coffee cups instead of single-use-cups
  • Towel dispenser changed from paper to cloth
  • Production moved into new facilities with state-of-the-art insulation, saving heating energy and power
  • Professional break-off, clearance, and recycling of old facility
  • Compliance with local requirements for waste management (collection of electronic waste like circuit boards, recycling via authorized recycling organizations) and internal guidelines
  • Within 10 years, power consumption per produced centrifuge has been reduced by more than 50%
  • Assembly by 100% renewable energy
  • German production site is EN14001 certified
  • Avoiding the use of organic solvents during production processes (reduction of up to 70%), switch to environment friendly water soluble varnishes and paints
  • Usage of much more efficient insulation foam for refrigerated centrifuges to improve temperature efficiency
  • CFC-free refrigerants with an ozone depletion potential of zero based on Montreal protocol
  • Up to 95% of water involved in production is recovered
  • When milling the shape of the rotor and generating the bores during the production process, all chippings are collected. The generated swarf material is a high grade resource for recycling processes
  • During production of a vaporizer, separation agents are needed that contain solvents. Recently, the amount of these solvents was reduced by up to 60%.
  • Digital database for documentation of final instrument checks after production, saving of more than 30,000 pages of paper and related toner material/ anno
  • Usage of multi-usage wiping cloths instead of paper towels 
  • Cleaning process adapted to 75% less spirit usage
  • Usage of a special evacuation apparatus for safe and sealed removal of cooling liquids out of test centrifuges before disposal
  • Cleaning system for parts of CNC system to reduce amount of degreasing reagents by 10%
  • Advanced filter system for CNC system to reduce aerosol load 
  • Unloading of HVAC by newly planted trees to shadow windows of production halls 
  • Areal sealants: Switch to more environmental friendly material
  • Distinct reduction of cooling liquids in centrifuges (up to 30% like for Centrifuge 5430 R)
  • Mainly electric fork lifters in production and shipping preparation in new building, resulting in significantly reduced usage of gas and propane as fuel
  • Since 2005, Eppendorf has reduced air freight by more than 60% to reduce the CO2 footprint
  • Local warehouses to reduce drop-shipments
  • Focus on electronic media
  • Focus on certified paper for print material 
  • Water-based ink
  • Carbon neutrally printing
  • Supply by 100% renewable energy in marketing department
  • Save up to 80 % power with superior FastTemp pro function (Centrifuge 5430 R)
  • Dynamic compressor control (DCC) for improved cooling performance
  • ECO shut-off of compressor engages after 8 h of non-use for power saving (e.g. 37 % for Centrifuge 5430 R overnight) and extended compressor life
  • Brushless induction motors to provide maintenance-free operation and to avoid carbon particle emissions
  • Weight reduction of fixed-angle rotors for less power consumption during spinning and better ergonomics for the user
  • Very quiet operations for comfortable working environment
  • By introducing highly efficient cooling systems, the power consumption of the 24-place refrigerated centrifuges was reduced in some models by up to 60 % for the FastTemp function as well as up to 20 % for the over night continuous cooling.
  • Automatic switch into standby mode after 15 min of non-use
  • 20% less energy consumption at final speed due to optimized software control of motor for Centrifuge 5427 R
  • Similar control panels within centrifuge family to enable ease-to-use interaction
  • Low loading heights for easy and comfortable handling of rotors and buckets
  •  Rotors made of aluminum, material is fully recyclable at end of service time
  •  Longevity for many years of usage before disposal
  •  Instructions for disassembling recommend the process of correct disposal
  •  High recycling quote for most of the parts within the centrifuge