As concerns high-temperature petrological studies, the elemental and isotopic analysis of carbon was of fundamental importance to constrain the deep cycling of this element and fluxes down in the mantle. To explore these complex processes a series of rare rocks of ultra-deep origin, named peridotites were analyzed. These peridotites are generally located in the deep earth at a depth of nearly 40-50 Km from the surface (Bianchini and Natali, 2017; Förster et al., 2016). EA-IRMS analyses have also been very important to understand the genesis of very strange magmatic rocks, named carbonatites, which are important for economic reasons as they contain many rare minerals (Beccaluva et al., 2017).
The application of the EA-IRMS system to low temperature geochemistry is more commonplace. Prof Bianchini and Dr Natali are currently involved in studies concerning soil and sedimentary matrices (Natali and Bianchini, 2018, Vittori Antisari et al., 2016) as well as studies investigating suspended particles in river water (Corazzari et al., 2016), and air dispersed particles in urban environments.
Most notably for these studies, the team developed new protocols in which samples are analyzed by EA-IRMS at different combustion temperature in order to discriminate the presence of distinct compounds characterized by different destabilization temperature (Natali and Bianchini, 2014; 2015, Natali et al., 2018). For example, in soils and sediment this analytical approach allow discrimination of inorganic and organic compounds, avoiding complex and tedious pre-treating of the samples with hazardous chemicals.