Isotopic N2O Analyzer (site-specific δ15N, δ17O, δ18O and N2O) Overview

N2O is a linear, non-symmetric molecule (N–N–O), with one nitrogen atom at the center (alpha site) and one at the end (beta site). Therefore, one can distinguish between two structural isomers containing one heavy isotope of nitrogen, namely 14N15N16O and 15N14N16O, referred to as 15Nα and 15Nβ, respectively.  The intramolecular distribution of 15N in N2O can provide information about the geochemical cycle of N2O because many biological and chemical processes have distinct isotopic signatures.

LGR’s Isotopic N2O Analyzer (Isotopic Nitrous Oxide Analyzer) is the world’s only commercially available laser-based gas analyzer that measures isotopic site-specific (15N) nitrogen, δ17O and δ18O in N2O. Employing a continuous-wave mid-infrared quantum cascade laser along with LGR’s patented cavity enhanced laser absorption spectroscopy technique (Off-axis ICOS), LGR’s Isotopic N2O Analyzer provides continuous and precise measurements of all the stable isotopologues of nitrous oxide directly, without preconcentration, and over a very wide dynamic range.

This novel instrument may be used to elucidate processes in soil and wastewater incubation experiments (e.g., bacterial denitrification method) as well as in ambient air for source allocation.

The Isotopic N2O Analyzer is now available in LGR’s “Enhanced Performance” package which incorporates proprietary internal thermal control. As demonstrated in other LGR instruments, LGR’s EP Series provides ultra-stable measurements with unsurpassed precision, accuracy and drift.  Moreover, only LGR’s analyzers provide reliable guaranteed measurements at mole fractions more than 20 times ambient levels directly (without preconcentration or dilution).

The Analyzer uses LGR’s Off-axis ICOS technology, a fourth-generation cavity enhanced absorption technique. Off-axis ICOS has many advantages over conventional Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy (CRDS) techniques such as being alignment insensitive (thus far more rugged), having a much shorter measurement time (yielding a faster data rate), and not requiring expensive and power consuming auxiliary components (thus much more reliable).  The Analyzer includes an internal computer that can store data practically indefinitely on its internal hard drive (for applications requiring unattended longer term operation), and send real-time data to a data logger through its analog and digital (RS232) outputs.  In addition, all LGR Analyzers may be fully accessed and controlled over the Internet for remote diagnostics and unattended operation.