Improved method for isotopic and quantitative analysis of dissolved inorganic carbon in natural water samples

Assayag, N. and Rivé, K. and Ader, M. and Jézéquel, D. and Agrinier, P. (2006) Improved method for isotopic and quantitative analysis of dissolved inorganic carbon in natural water samples. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 20 (15). pp. 2243-2251. DOI

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We present here an improved and reliable method for measuring the concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and its isotope composition (13CDIC) in natural water samples. Our apparatus, a gas chromatograph coupled to an isotope ratio mass spectrometer (GCIRMS), runs in a quasi-automated mode and is able to analyze about 50 water samples per day. The whole procedure (sample preparation, CO2(g)-CO2(aq) equilibration time and GCIRMS analysis) requires 2 days. It consists of injecting an aliquot of water into a H3PO4-loaded and He-flushed 12 mL glass tube. The H3PO4 reacts with the water and converts the DIC into aqueous and gaseous CO2. After a CO2(g)-CO2(aq) equilibration time of between 15 and 24 h, a portion of the headspace gas (mainly CO2+He) is introduced into the GCIRMS, to measure the carbon isotope ratio of the released CO2(g), from which the 13CDIC is determined via a calibration procedure. For standard solutions with DIC concentrations ranging from 1 to 25 mmol · L-1 and solution volume of 1 mL (high DIC concentration samples) or 5 mL (low DIC concentration samples), 13CDIC values are determined with a precision (1) better than 0.1. Compared with previously published headspace equilibration methods, the major improvement presented here is the development of a calibration procedure which takes the carbon isotope fractionation associated with the CO2(g)-CO2(aq) partition into account: the set of standard solutions and samples has to be prepared and analyzed with the same gas/liquid and H3PO4/water volume ratios. A set of natural water samples (lake, river and hydrothermal springs) was analyzed to demonstrate the utility of this new method. Copyrigh

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NIL AREP
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Volume: 20
Page Range: pp. 2243-2251
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2009 13:01
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:01

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