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This comes with the standard vacuum pump when you purchase it here on HomeDepot.com. Home Depot does not sell the oil free vacuum pump, you will have to go directly to Harvest Right to purchase that.
The spacing for the Pharmaceutical Freeze Dryer is meant for products that are 3/4" in height or less. Some customers choose to purchase an additional shelving unit (5 Tray) so that the spacing isn't as tight. This freeze dryer will accommodate products that are 2" in height. This all depends on what you are trying to freeze dry. We don't normally recommend the 8 Tray unit for food products.
The Pharmaceutical freeze dryer was created to freeze dry non-food product. The shelves are much thinner so there won't be as much room to freeze dry your food in it. Harvest Right recommends purchasing the regular Large size home freeze dryer if you are planning to freeze dry your food.
There are varying factors that contribute to the completion of a freeze dried batch: Cellular structure of the product, ambient temperature where the freeze dryer is being run, thickness of product, and whether or not the product is pre-frozen. On the average, a pre-frozen batch will take 24 hours. There are factors that could increase or decrease that time. So, we conservatively say 20-36 hours. The freeze dryer is smart and will recognize when the product is complete.
Yes, the freeze dryer can be used to freeze dry products of chemical synthesis.