A new isotopic nitrous oxide (N2O) analyzer has been introduced by Los Gatos Research (LGR). It is the first device that directly determines the ratios of 18O and site-specific 15N in trace nitrous oxide (N2O) in the atmosphere.
It also determines the mole fraction of N2O. Site-specific 15N indicates the capability to determine the ratios of ä15N for the alpha and beta sites in the N2O molecule. Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) is a conventional process for getting stable ratios of isotope from captured samples in the laboratory.
The new analyzer from LGR is portable and does not utilize any consumables. Sample pre-concentration and skilled operators are not required for the device. The company’s new analyzer can measure volume samples by means of syringe injection and can record data from the air samples, which flow continuously. It allows unmanned operation in far areas for extended periods of time and offers sensitivity and precision.
N2O is a significant greenhouse gas and can be produced through biofuel combustion. Researchers can better understand the artificial impacts that affect the climate change, environment and the nitrogen cycle, by determining the trace N2O concentrations as well as their isotopic signatures.
According to Oregon State University’s Professor Jeffrey McDonnell, stable isotope ratios are important as source trackers. He informed that the university’s water cycle studies have been utilizing LGR’s isotopic water analyzer to carry out in situ high-frequency measurements on stream flow and rainfall at far places. Extending this turn-key measurement to N2O will certainly provide a better understanding about the nitrogen cycle.
LGR’s patented Off-axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy (OA-ICOS) technology is used in the company’s precision isotope and gas analyzers.