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  • Writer's pictureEssential Stills

How to pack a Glass Fractionating Column

The column packing being discussed here is glass helices: they should be separated into single units rather than chains that have linked up before being placed within the column.

Pour out a small quantity of the helices on to a suitable tray and remove all the single units from the bulk using a fine camel hair brush. The chained rings should then be carefully separated and added to the original pile of single helices. Continue until the sufficient helices have been prepared to fill the column.

When filling the column, the spiral packing support (either glass or stainless steel) should be carefully inserted and allowed to gently slide down the column at an angle. Place the column upright and adjust the position of the spiral so that it sits securely on the indents sited at the base just above the cone. Carefully add the separate helices in small quantities and jiggle them carefully down the column by gently striking the side of the column with a suitable soft implement e.g. a piece of rubber tube.

Continue adding the helices until the column is filled to the point that helices are just below the cone sited at the top of the column.

Your column is now ready for fractionation.

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