Stable Isotope Lab – The Earth Resources, Research and Analysis (TERRA) Facility – CREAIT Network

Research Facility

Stable Isotope Lab - The Earth Resources, Research and Analysis (TERRA) Facility - CREAIT Network
Memorial University
St. John's
Newfoundland and Labrador (NL)

The TERRA Facility's Stable Isotope Lab operates two gas source isotope ratio mass spectrometers. Materials containing the elements of interest are converted to suitable gaseous forms and isotopic abundances are measured and compared with those of international standards.


stable isotope, elemental analysis, training, education, TOC, IRMS, GC-C-IRMS, GC

  • Biological and Life Sciences
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Environmental and Earth Sciences
  • Marine/Ocean Sciences
  • Agriculture, Animal Science and Food
  • Chemical Industries
  • Education
  • Environmental Technologies and Related Services
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Forestry and Forest-Based Industries
  • Life Sciences, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment
  • Mining, Minerals and Metals
  • Ocean Industries


Alison Pye
Research Laboratory Coordinator
Geert Van Biesen
Research Laboratory Associate

Brent Myron
Manager of Operations - CREAIT Network


ThermoElectron DeltaVPlus Gas Source IRMS (x2)
DV+(I): configured for continuous-flow isotope ratio analyses of N2 (δ15N) and CO2(δ13C, δ18O). Interfaced with a ThermoElectron Gas Bench II, a Carlo Erba NA1500 Series II elemental analyser and an OI Analytical Aurora 1030 TOC Analyser. DV+(II): interfaced with an Agilent 6890N GC for compound specific carbon isotope ratio analysis CO2 (δ13C). Dual inlet allowing for direct measurement of prepared gas samples (N2: δ15N; CO2: δ13C, δ18O; H2: δ2H).

Carlo Erba NA1500 Series II Elemental Analyzer
Carlo Erba
NA1500 Series II

Consists of high temperature oxidation and reduction furnaces inline with a water trap and a gas chromatograph for analyzing solid materials for isotope ratio and elemental determinations. Interfaced with the DeltaVPlus IRMS for analysis of N2 (δ15N, %N) and/or CO2 (δ13C, %C).

ThermoElectron GasBench II
Thermo Electron
GasBench II

Preparation system utilizing acid injection to digest carbonates for isotope ratio analysis. Interfaced with the DeltaVPlus IRMS for analyzing headspace from vials for carbon and oxygen isotopes (CO2: δ13C, δ18O).

OI Analytical Aurora 1030 TOC Analyzer
OI Analytical
Aurora 1030W

Analyzes water samples for inorganic and/or organic carbon content by using a wet chemical oxidation process to extract carbon as CO2 gas, which enters a NDIR detector for ppmC determination. Interfaced with the DeltaVPlus IRMS for simultaneous carbon isotope ratio analysis (δ13C-TOC and δ13C-TIC).

Agilent 6890N Gas Chromatograph – ThermoElectron Combustion III Interface
6890N GC
Interfaced to a DeltaVPlus for determination of carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) of individual compounds using GC - combustion - isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS). Capable of analyzing of CH4, CO2 and C1-C9 hydrocarbons in gaseous samples (manual injection) and the analysis of FAMEs (injection by autosampler).

Agilent 6890A Gas Chromatograph (x2)
The lab also has two GCs for qualitative/quantitative analysis. These GCs are served by one autosampler (Gerstel MPS), which can do liquid and headspace analysis. Both GCs have a split/splitless detector. GC A has a flame ionization detector and an electron capture detector, and is used for liquid (e.g. FAMEs) and gas (e.g. N2O) samples. This GC also has a preparative fraction collector (Gerstel PFC), which is used to isolate compounds of interest for subsequent additional analysis, such as NMR or acceleration mass spectrometry for 14C. GC B is used for the analysis of permanent gases. This GC has a thermal conductivity detector and a flame ionization detector in series and is currently mainly used for CO2 and CH4.

Date submitted: Sat, Nov 26, 2016 11:56 AM
Date updated: Tue, Nov 29, 2016 12:10 PM