MBL Stable Isotope Laboratory

The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543 U.S.A.
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Lab Manager:
Marshall Otter, Ph.D.
Office: 508-289-7462
Lab: 508-289-7762
Fax: 508-457-1548
E-mail: motter@mbl.edu

Lab Equipment

Three Continuous Flow-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (CF-IRMS) systems are housed in Room 333 of the C.V. Starr Building. These include two GV Instruments Isoprime mass spectrometers that can be variously interfaced with five different automated sample preparation units, and our workhorse Europa 20-20 mass spectrometer interfaced with an automated combustion/purification unit.  The three systems are presently configured for “routine” work as follows:

System 1: ISOPRIME CF-IRMS with Triple Collector + D/H Collector, and Reference Gas Box interfaced with:

  • Agilent Technologies Model 6890 Gas Chromatograph (GC) configured with either combustion or thermal decomposition ("pyrolysis") reactors for compound-specific δ13C, δ15N, or δ2H analysis of derivatized organic compounds such as fatty acids and amino acids.

ISOPRIME CF-IRMS interfaced with GV Instruments Furnace Unit and Agilent Technologies GC
  • GV Instruments Multiflow-Bio purification unit and a Gilson autosampler unit for analysis of Pure Gases (δ13C, δ15N, δ18O, δ2H), CO2 in Air (δ13C, δ18O), N2 in Air (δ15N) Water equilibration gases (CO2 for δ18O, and H2 for 2H2O), and DIC (δ13C). 
  • GV Instruments Trace Gas purification unit for analysis of CO2 in Air (δ13C, δ18O), N2O in Air (δ15N, δ18O), and CH4 in Air (δ13C).


ISOPRIME CF-IRMS interfaced with Multiflow-Bio and Trace Gas Purification Units

System 2: ISOPRIME CF-IRMS with 4-Cup Multicollector interfaced with:  

  • GV Instruments Dual Inlet for high precision δ13C, δ15N, & δ18O on Pure or Mixed Gases. The multicollector will allow simultaneous collection of Masses 32, 33, 34 & 40 for Triple Oxygen Productivity determinations on dissolved O2 + Ar samples that have been extracted and purified from water using a Janus Research Co. seven-inlet cryogenic cold trap system.
  • OI Analytical Aurora 1030 TIC-TOC Analyzer for δ13C determinations of DIC and DOC via the Multiflow-Bio unit.

 

 
ISOPRIME CF-IRMS interfaced with Dual Inlet and OI Analytical TIC-TOC Purification Units

System 3: Europa 20-20 CF-IRMS interfaced with the Europa ANCA-SL elemental analyzer.  This system has been continuously producing high quality δ15N & δ13C (and N & C concentration) data on bulk solid materials since 1997.

  


EUROPA 20-20 CF-IRMS interfaced with ANCA-SL Purification Unit

Also housed in the lab are various glass vacuum preparation/purification lines, a glass-blowing bench for the fabrication of, and repairs to, glass vacuum lines, a muffle furnace for pre-combustion of tin capsules and glass filters, a tube furnace for refurbishing our reduction tubes, a drying oven, and two balances for precisely weighing stable isotope samples.