Stable Isotope Laboratory Updates

June 2004: This spring we uncrated 2 new systems from GV Instruments. We now have 2 new IsoPrime isotope ratio mass spectrometers with several peripherals. One instrument has a standard EuroVector Elemental Analyzer that is capable of running carbon, nitrogen and sulfur isotopes. This will be a dedicated intrument for primarily carbon and nitrogen samples, so that we can offer a quicker turnaround time.

The second IsoPrime has two interfaces. The first one is the GV Instruments MultiFlow interface. We currently have it running for carbonates with good precision and reproducibility. By the end of the summer we plan to offer hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in water. We also have the capability of analyzing carbon dioxide in air and breath samples. The second interface is a Eurovector Pyr-OH elemental analyzer with a liquid autosampler. On this system we will be offering hydrogen isotopes in water using the Chrome HD procedure. Our hope is to expand to oxygen in water, however we realize the limitations of the pyrolysis system. We plan on also offering organic oxygen and hydrogen on this system using a solid autosampler.

Several benefits of this expansion include reduced costs, improved turnaround times, and expanding the types of samples the BU Isotope Lab can analyze. Please feel free to check back here for updates or contact Bob directly for more information.

The mass spectrometers and peripherals in this laboratory are supported through grants from the National Science Foundation.

March 2005: Things are moving along! Our first IsoPrime with the EA interface is working well for solid samples for carbon and nitrogen isotopes. Reproducibility for carbon and ntirogen isotopes is well within laboratory specs.

The second IsoPrime with the MultiFlow interface is online and available for carbonates and oxygen 18 isotopes of water samples larger than 200 ul. We are currently testing the system for small 10-20 ul sized water samples.

March 2006: We're now online for hydrogen via pyrolysis using the GVI ChromeHD system. We've received a shipment of small vials, so we can now measure water samples as small as 10 ul. The MultiFlow has also been tested for atmospheric CO2 samples and for breath samples. Both procedures are now available.

***NOTE*** Please take a look at the price list! With the available automation we are phasing out some of the manual procedures and introducing automated analyses. The old procedures will still be available, but we encourage users to take advantage of the new techniques.

***ALSO NOTE: we have dropped the price for solid CN samples, both preloaded and ground material!! And turnaround times continue to improve!

November 2007: I'm happy to report that "Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Science, Second Edition" is now available! It's bigger and better than our first edition...get it while you can. Here's a link from Blackwell Publishing: Click here

Here's a link to the promotional sheet.

July 2010: Small water oxygen 18 analysis is now available. The procedure has been tested on samples down to 10 ul. Note that the precision does drop off (0.5 to 1 permil) and the procedure is mostly geared toward DLW analysis on small organisms. Methods work is beginning for organic hydrogen analysis. Sulfur is still over the horizon, though.

Keep checking back for updates! And pictures will be coming!

June 2013: Present and former clients using the Stable Isotope Laboratory, click here. 154 different institutions!

June 2013: We now offer water extractions for organic material, typically plant leaves, stems and soils. See the price list for current pricing.

June 2013: Please see the sample size requirements page for updated sample sizes. We now show the maximum amount of carbon allowable in a sample, which is especially important for mineral and organic soils. Please be sure to follow the guidelines, as we can no longer be responsible for samples that exceed the requirements of the mass spec.