Isotope laboratory

The isotope laboratory uses high quality isotope analyses of carbon, nitrogen, oksygen and hydrogen.

With the arrival of the new Wilson Professor: Anne Hope Jahren, and her chief engineer: William M. Hagopian, construction of a state-of-the-art stable isotope laboratory has begun with joint support from CEED and the Institute for Biovitenskap (UiO). The laboratory will be committed to providing high-quality stable isotope analyses of 13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O and D/H across a variety of geological and biological substrates, with priority given to users who are also CEED and/or IBV personnel.

Housed within the laboratory are two stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS) systems that are capable of a wide array of sample-type analysis, ranging from rock and sediment, to stream and rain water, to plant and animal (including human) fossil and living tissues. A Delta-V Advantage IRMS (Thermo Scientific) is configured with an ECS 4010 Elemental Analyzer (Costech Analytical) will provide bulk δ13C analyses on plant tissues with an analytical precision better than 0.1 ‰. By implementing a 100-position zero blank autosampler, along with the use of quartz inserts for cleaning the oxidation reactor, high throughput with up to 150 capsules analyzed in a 24 hour period will be achieved. The second instrument, an Isoprime IRMS (Micromass, Ltd.) is configured with three separate peripherals between which it can be easily switched. A modified Eurovector EA3000 elemental analyzer unit comprises the Direct Injection system for the analysis of atmospheric CO2 for δ13C with a precision better than 0.1‰. A micro-dual inlet module is configured with the Isoprime for the calibration of the Direct Injection system reference gases using CO2 generated from the reaction of phosphoric acid with IAEA carbonate standards. It will also aid in performing quality control checks on the Direct Injection system. An HP6980 gas chromatograph (with an FID) is coupled to the Isoprime via a micro-combustion interface. It is equipped with a 25 meter GC-1 column (0.25 mm i.d., 0.25 μm film)(GC2 Chromatography). This configuration enables δ13C compound specific analyses of n-alkanes extracted from plant tissue with a precision better than 0.2 ‰. For the detection and quantification specific compounds, a Saturn 2200 ion trap mass spectrometer (Varian Inc.) configured with a Varian 3800 gas chromatograph is located within the Jahren lab. It is equipped with a 30 meter VF-5ms column (0.25 mm i.d., 0.25 μm film) and a Varian CP-8400 autosampler. Data will be analyzed using Saturn GC-MS Workstation (v. 6.42).

Support for the laboratory has come in four forms, making this a jointly valued and supported endeavor between CEED and IBV: CEED has provided personnel salary for Jahren and Hagopian and moving costs for instrumentation and equipment transported from their previous instutution (U of HI, USA); IBV has provided space within Kristine Bonnevies Hus and has sponsored a successful UiO Infrastructure grant for new instrumentation purchase. Installation of the new laboratory (including space renovation, electrical supply and climate control) began January 1, 2017. The laboratory is expected to begin running samples collected from the Summer 2017 field season, starting during the Fall of 2017.

Published Mar. 8, 2017 11:05 AM - Last modified Mar. 28, 2017 9:38 AM