Isotope analysis of greenhouse gases


Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are major drivers for climate change and so it is essential that we uncover the complex cycling mechanisms of these gases throughout the natural world. At the same time, we must seek to understand the anthropogenic contribution of these gases so that we can develop successful strategies to mitigate and counter-act humankind’s damaging impact on the careful balances in the natural world. Isotopic analysis of atmospheric greenhouse gases is a critical tool in this regard thanks to the ability for isotopic analysis to elucidate the origin of a sample. iso FLOW GHG is a fully automated, continuous flow preparation system for the isotopic analysis of greenhouse gases originating from a range of sample matrices and is a key tool for climate science.

The iso FLOW GHG uses cryogenic pre-concentration to enable the high precision isotope analysis of CO2, N2O, and CH4, which are found at trace concentrations in the atmosphere. The automated chemical trapping and gas chromatography techniques utilized by the iso FLOW GHG allows the trace greenhouse gas to be isolated from other atmospheric constituents and delivered into the isotope ratio mass spectrometer without isotopic fractionation for the highest sensitivity of these low concentration gases.

As well as the analysis of atmospheric trace greenhouse gases, the iso FLOW GHG is ideal for the analysis of dissolved nitrates in groundwater, surface water or seawater, irrespective of the sample preparation method you choose. When analyzing samples prepared via the bacterial method iso FLOW GHG has the capacity for optional modifications to include a second GC column for separation of VOCs. Or, if deploying the titanium method lyticOS® Software Suite offers automated post-analysis data reduction calculations to reduce your data processing overhead.


Highlights of the iso FLOW GHG


Improved gas separation capabilities

iso FLOW GHG has capacity for two capillary GC columns which can be heated up to 300 °C for in-situ bakeout


High temperature furnace

Optional combustion furnace can be operated at up to 1,500 °C for novel applications

High capacity autosampler

For the analysis of dissolved nitrate samples and gas samples in septum sealed vials using a dual-core needle

Software control of all parameters

Control of all pressures, flow rates, valves, and temperatures from lyticOS® Software Suite reduces instrument contact time and consumption of resources and enables automated leak check procedures




Flexible sample handling options

The iso FLOW GHG is compatible with a range of different sampling options. Typically, the analysis of atmospheric trace greenhouse gases is performed using 100 ml, flow-through sample flasks with open/close valves but for greater throughput of these sample types from grab bags or lecture bottles, iso FLOW GHG can be modified to include an automated flask switching system device with vacuum purging. For high throughput analysis of gases and the determination of dissolved nitrate samples presented in septum-sealed vials, iso FLOW GHG is compatible with multiple sample vial types with up to 220 x 12 ml sample vials or 70 x 20 ml sample vials accommodated in the autosampler tray. Customized autosampler trays for other vial dimensions can easily be generated by us or by your own workshop for the highest flexibility. A manual injector port is also optionally available for direct injections of gases into the iso FLOW GHG.


Innovative capabilities for novel methods

The iso FLOW GHG provides the ideal starting point for researchers to customize their instrument for novel methods and applications. A significant advantage of the instrument over previous generation systems is the ability to accommodate up to two 30 m capillary GC columns in a thermocouple-controlled heated oven with a maximum temperature of 300 °C. This allows new possibilities for enhanced GC chromatographic techniques. As well as this, the iso FLOW GHG combustion furnace can operate at temperatures up to 1,500 °C allowing researchers to explore alternative furnace chemistries and target novel isotope species. When combined with the optional NICM development licenses available in lyticOS® Software Suite, iso FLOW GHG presents a unique solution for researchers to implement unique solutions for their experimental requirements.

Complete automation minimizes operator contact time

The analysis of your precious samples using the iso FLOW GHG is made substantially simpler thanks to the complete automation of the instrument. The iso FLOW GHG utilizes electronic flow and pressure controllers to precisely deliver gases and control sample flows throughout the system, all of which are under control from lyticOS® Software Suite and thereby significantly reducing operator contact time with the instrument. With complete control of the analytical hardware from lyticOS®, the instrument can perform automated system checks, leak checking and system configuration changes making the instrument faster and easier to run for operators with diverse levels of experience.

Extend your δ15N analysis further with advanced options

The iso FLOW GHG offers several opportunities to further your analysis. N2 analysis can be performed alongside gases that are condensed with liquid nitrogen. For example: When performing δ15N and δ18O isotope analysis of atmospheric N2O, the system can optionally also measure δ15N of N2 atmospheric gas allowing dual analysis of these gases from a single sample vial or flask. As well as this, the isoprime precisION isotope ratio mass spectrometer can be optionally configured with a dedicated Faraday collector array for the site-specific isotope analysis of δ15N of N2O for better understanding of the biological pathways responsible for the production of N2O.


Download: Flyer-iso-FLOW-GHG-EN


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