Looking for an easier way to analyze 15N and 18O of dissolved nitrate?
Do you spend large amounts of time preparing and growing Pseudomonas aureofaciens? Fed up of completing risk assessments when you are trying to purchase or dispose of dangerous chemicals? Maybe the idea of dealing with these problems has dissuaded you from starting to analyze 15N and 18O of dissolved nitrate altogether? Now you have another option.
Titanium (III) reduction of nitrate is quick and safe
A groundbreaking new paper from Altabet et al.* has described a new technique for the conversion of dissolved nitrate to N2O without using hazardous reagents or bacterial cultures giving fully prepared samples within 24 hours. With easily obtained reagents and basic laboratory infrastructure, novice labs can perform high quality isotopic analysis of nitrate.
* Altabet, M.A., Wassenaar, L.I., Douence, C., Roy, R. (2019) A Ti(III) reduction method for one-step conversion of seawater and freshwater nitrate into N2O for stable isotopic analysis of 15N/14N, 18O/16O and 17O/16O, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, Vol 33, Issue 15, Pages 1227-1239. Link: https://doi.org/10.1002/rcm.8454
Simple, one-step reaction
1. Add reagents and sample to 40 ml or 20 ml vial using pipette
2. Leave vials 12—24 hrs to react (conversion of sample nitrate to N2O)
3. Run samples on IRMS system
Learn more about this method of sample preparation by downloading the following Technical Note.
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Already established your nitrate method?
In 2001, Sigman & Casciotti published their breakthrough paper which described using denitrifying bacterial cultures to convert nitrate to N2O for 15N analysis. Then a year later, the method was updated to perform dual isotope 15N and 18O analysis from a single freshwater or seawater sample, allowing sources of nitrate to be easily resolved. This method, and the cadmium-azide method (Altabet et al., 2005) have been widely adopted by laboratories around the world. Our stable isotope analyzer EnvirovisION is fully compatible with these methods making it ideal for existing laboratories which use these techniques.
Stable isotope analyzer for the isotopic analysis of dissolved nitrate
EnvirovisION is a specially configured stable isotope analyzer for the isotopic analysis of dissolved nitrate samples and has been enhanced to utilize the new titanium (III) reduction* sample preparation method. The system has numerous features designed to automate, simplify, and improve sample throughput allowing you to generate more data, faster.
Simpler, faster dissolved nitrate analysis with EnvirovisION
The ideal solution for quantifying the global nitrogen cycle
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Balancing the nitrogen cycle
All life depends on the availability of nitrogen. It is an essential nutrient yet is almost completely inaccessible in its most abundant form, N2. Elemental nitrogen is therefore consumed and expelled via myriad chemical, physical and biological processes which perpetuate the global nitrogen cycle, holding natures balance in check. But for the last 100 years, anthropogenic activity has tipped these balances in ways we do not yet fully understand. The price of being able to feed the global population and provide them with energy may prove high.
How the shifts and balances in the nitrogen cycle ultimately play out due to anthropogenic inputs is unknowable, but we must attempt to understand this intricate system if we are to mitigate the worst effects of our inputs into the nitrogen cycle. Stable isotope analysis is an essential tool as we attempt to do that.
Do you have questions or challenges and need an expert to provide straightforward support? You are evaluating different methods and need our help? Our experts are available to answer all your questions about isotopic analysis of dissolved nitrate samples.
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