Application of nitrogen fertilizers
Cows
Smog in a city
Balancing the nitrogen cycle
Excessive fertilizer usage leads to nutrient pollution in rivers
Balancing the nitrogen cycle
Manure from livestock leads to nitrate in groundwater
Balancing the nitrogen cycle
Burning fossil fuels leads to N2O in the atmosphere
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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.

New method

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

Titanium (III) chloride reduction method

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.  

Introducing EnvirovisION

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

Icon "Flexibility"
Great flexibility
Supports any nitrate method you choose to run as well as greenhouse gas analysis
Icon "High sample throughput"
High throughput
Analyze 70 samples a day using parallel processing giving 40% faster analysis than other systems
Icon "High data quality"
High data quality
Achieve the highest analytical performance with the most precise instrument available
Icon "Ease of use"
Ease of use
Simple preparation of dissolved nitrate samples using new titanium (III) reduction method in less than 24 hours

The ideal solution for quantifying the global nitrogen cycle

Downloads

Flyer EnvirovisION
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Analysis of dissolved nitrate δ15N and δ18O isotopes for environmental studies using the EnvirovisION
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Ti (III) Reduction Method for Nitrate stable isotope analysis
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EnvirovisION presentation at JESIUM
Analysis of dissolved nitrate stable isotopes using the one-step Ti (III) reduction method and EnvirovisION IRMS
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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.

Landscape

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. 

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