The Isogenerator is an exchange column that has been loaded with 5 microcarriers of cesium-137 (Cs-137). When a 0.1 M EDTA (pH 9.0) solution is introduced to the column only the daughter isotope, barium-137, will be released when the solution is eluted. The Cs-137 will remain in the column. The short half-life of the barium-137 makes it ideal for conducting liquid isotope experiments such as half-life determination. This system is manufactured by Oxford instruments Inc. The following is how to setup the Isogenerator:

1.  The first step of preparation is to remove the large cap above the reservoir. This may be difficult, due to the vacuum created in the column itself. This should be done by holding the column secure in one hand and using the thumb to push in an upward motion. Do this slowly to keep the liquid inside the column. Once this has been accomplished, place the column in the burette clamp and mount on the ring stand.

2.  With gloves on and a vial under the column, remove the small cap at the bottom of the column. Catch the liquid and determine with the Geiger counter that there is no contamination present. At this point, replace the small cap with the stopcock provided. Make sure the stopcock is in the off position. Fill the column with 3 ml of 0.1M EDTA (pH 9.0). Allow the column to sit for approximately one hour. This moves the barium-137 down the column, allowing better results on your first "Milking the Cow."

3.  This procedure is very pH specific and could influence the results of your experiments. It is suggested that the pH of the EDTA solution be checked often. Also, the solution should be replaced every six months.
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