Bloomsbury Environmental Isotope Facility


Gas Bench

 δ18O & δ13C in carbonates, enamel, waters

- Gas Bench + Thermo Delta V (Cont. Flow) -

The BEIF lab is equipped with a Gas Bench II linked to Thermo Delta V ("Bob"), designed for headspace analysis of high precision on-line isotope ratio determination of gas species in carbonates and waters. 

It is used for the isotopic analysis of  δ18O & δ13C (after acid addition) of carbonate material (such as Carbonate Sediments and Depositions, Foraminifera, Ostracods, Speleothems, ...), of the carbonate fraction of tooth enamel,

It can also be used for the isotopic analysis of δ18O of water via equilibration (with CO2) or to measure δ13C in DIC (i.e. Dissolved Inorganic Carbon), following addition of acid in the sample.


Tooth Sampling


A CTC Pal autosampler is used to inject a sampling needle into the vial and a He flow mixes with and pushes the headspace gas (released from the material by acidification) out through a Nafion drying tube, acting as a water trap, and to a sampling loop. 

The sampling loop periodically switches so that the gas in the loop is directed to a gas chromatograph column (GC), another drying tube, and then the open split to the mass spectrometer for analysis.


Inside the Gas Bench


NB: Problems will occur if your sample has volatile components such as small organic compounds and NOx, as they may be released into the headspace and interfere with that analysis or potentially the analysis of later runs. 

BEIF routinely achieve precisions of ±0.04‰ and ±0.08‰ for δ13C and δ18O respectively, against laboratory and international standards.

Thinking of submitting your samples for analyses? see our price list here