Hi Andy,


We simply tap the tube with a wood dowel a few times while filling to get the copper to settle.  We use a piece of straight 1/4" stainless tubing with one end smashed flat, like a straight blade screwdriver.  We use the SS tube to chip it out in a drilling motion in combination with the wooden dowel tapping on the outside.  Our student workers usually do it and then the tubes go through our regular wash and are reused.


Cheers, Ben


From: Stable Isotope Geochemistry [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Hill, Brett
Sent: Friday, January 15, 2016 8:50 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ISOGEOCHEM] Removing reduced copper




We tap the outside of the reduction tube lightly 15-20 times to get the Cu to settle a bit before topping it up.  The more it is packed in the more difficult to remove.  We remove the spent Cu with a length of 3/8” (9mm) OD SS tubing that has had 4 teeth filed into the end and that have been set a bit by prying them out with pliers.  After loosening and dumping the plug a bit from both ends it can usually be pushed out with the SS tubing.  The reduction tube does sometimes get scratched up a bit, but it doesn’t seem to matter.  Quick rinse with DI water, dry with compressed air, repack and re-install.








Brett Hill

Stable Isotope Lab

Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada

Lethbridge Research Centre

5403 1st Ave. S.

Lethbridge, AB. T1J 4B1

[log in to unmask]

ph. 403-317-3455







From: Stable Isotope Geochemistry [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Andrew Schauer
Sent: January-15-16 8:52 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ISOGEOCHEM] Removing reduced copper


Those of you who seem to be able to tap or dig your copper out...how are you packing it in the first place? That is, are you simply dumping it in and maybe tapping with your finger or are you using a vortex to really get the copper well seated?




On Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 7:40 AM, Mihai Lefticariu <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


You wait for the column to cool down, remove the quartz wool plugs, and start tapping the column gently on the side and top with a wood or better a soft rubber mallet. Flip it upside down and do the same. Repeat the process until the oxidized copper granules will start detaching nicely from the walls and the long oxidized plug breaks apart into smaller fragments. Keep tapping until the fragments get out of the quartz tube. I would not pull/drag the oxidized copper plug fragments inside the tube to avoid scratches. When the tube is empty wash it thoroughly with warm soapy water using a thick test tube brush. Rinse it thoroughly with trap water. Give it a final rinse with alcohol and DI water and leave to dry.  Cheers. Mihai

Dr. Mihai Lefticariu
IRMS Scientist
Mass Spectrometry Facility
Neckers 103
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Carbondale IL 62901

From: Stable Isotope Geochemistry <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of GROCKE D.R. <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, January 15, 2016 6:12 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ISOGEOCHEM] Removing reduced copper

just a quick question in the hope of saving costs:

does anyone know an easy way to remove the oxidised copper from the quartz column; so that the quartz column can be re-used?