Dear Isotopers,

We’ve been using a metal insert in our Costech EA combustion tube for the last month or so. The good news is that it is easy to clean out ash.

We’re using the metal insert because a lot of large powdered, acidified rocks are being analyzed. My question is the following:

With the quartz inserts, some of the HCl generated from combusting salty or acidified samples, reacts with the quartz insert, removing at least a part of it. We use a silver wool plug at the bottom of the combustion reactor for further halide scavenging. 

Does anyone else use the metal inserts and see any effects of halides “breaking through” to the Conflo or IRMS?



Dr. Marilyn L. Fogel, 
Wilbur W. Mayhew Professor of Geo-Ecology
Director of the Environmental Dynamics and Geo-Ecology Institute (
Dept. of Earth Sciences
University of California Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
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Phone: 209-205-6743