Environmental Sciences

Stable isotopes are used extensively in environmental sciences, for example to trace nutrient and mineral uptake by plants and animals, to study metabolic processes, to monitor nitrogen turnover in soil, to look at pollution in rainwater, to trace the sources of catchment waters and to trace elements through ecosystems. The Thermo Scientific™ Delta V™ Gas IRMS combined with our unique peripherals, such as the EA IsoLink, ConFlo IV and GasBench II are the instruments of choice to obtain high precise stable isotope ratio data of a variety of environmental samples.

Elemental speciation is of great importance in environmental research, since physiochemical information such as toxicity, bioavailability, mobility and reactivity are dependent on the specific form of an element. Such information cannot be assessed from total element concentrations alone. Especially, legislation for highly toxic species such as organotins, methyl mercury and brominated flame retardants is emerging and requires speciation information. The Thermo Scientific™ Element 2™ and Element XR™ coupled with Gas Chromatography or HPLC is one of the only techniques capable of reaching the ultra trace levels required.

Isotopic systems of Br, Cl, S and Hg have gained increasing interest, as these can help tracing the origin of pollution of a variety of organic compounds and understanding the processes that have affected them. The Thermo Scientific™ Neptune Plus™ MC-ICPMS coupled with Gas Chromatography allows compound specific analysis of isotopes such as Br, Cl, S and Hg in various organic compounds.

Key Applicatons

  • Speciation of Trace Elemental Species
  • Carbon Isotope Ratio Analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Soils and Sediments
  • Tracing the origin of organic compound pollution by Isotopic Fingerprinting
  • δ13C and δ18O in CO2 involved in Leaf Gas-Exchange Processes

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