Analyzing Salty Waters with Laser Spectroscopy – #365papers – 2017 – 47

#365papers for February 16, 2017

Skrzypek and Ford, 2014, Stable Isotope Analysis of Saline Water Samples on a Cavity Ring-down Spectroscopy Instrument: Environmental Science & Technology, v. 48, p. 2827-2834.

What’s it about?

This is a methods paper about how to analyze saline (salty) waters with the new laser-based isotope analyzers. It discusses several solutions to the problems that can arise when dealing with salty waters.

Why does it matter?

Many waters that one may wish to analyze are saline, most often coming from the ocean or from ground water. Salinity of water is already known to have an impact of the measured isotopic values, which can alter interpretations. The salt also has a tendency to crystallize in undesirable parts of the mass spectrometer, which can also be a big problem. This paper discusses these challenges and how bad the effects on isotopes really are.

Why did I read this?

I have a water analyzing system very similar to the one used in this paper, and identical for the challenges that matter: how do deal with salt building up in the system and destroying expensive syringes. Since I would like to eventually run salt water samples, I decided to read this paper.

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