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Water Isotope Analyzer Accurately Measures Contaminated Samples
Date:6/27/2012

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Los Gatos Research (LGR), the leader in precision trace gas analyzers, has formally documented and independently validated a software analysis package that enables the company's water isotope analyzers to simultaneously measure multiple isotopic ratios directly from contaminated samples with high accuracy and without sample treatment or purification. LGR's Spectral Contamination Identifier (SCI) software, which LGR makes available at no additional cost to its users, has been documented in two independent peer-review journal publications(1,2) to reliably and accurately measure isotope ratios (delta 2-H, delta 18-O) from water samples contaminated with alcohols (e.g., methanol and ethanol). As a result, scientists may now accurately analyze samples obtained from soils, plants or other complex water sources without complex pretreatment procedures.

The effectiveness of LGR's SCI software results from LGR's unique method of recording fully resolved high-resolution laser absorption spectra, which are always viewable in real time and archived by the company's isotopic water analyzers. The SCI software performs a smart analysis on these complex spectra to yield corrected isotopic ratios in the presence of contaminants such as methanol and ethanol. Other laser-based methods rely on wavelength sampling rather than true wavelength scanning, preventing this type of analysis and therefore requiring purification or chemical treatment of real-world samples such as plant stem water or stagnant groundwater before accurate analysis can be attempted.

LGR President Dr. Douglas Baer explains that, "The purpose of using rugged and portable laser-based analyzers for direct isotope analysis is to eliminate the complexity, cost and time associated with using traditional lab-bound instrumentation, i.e. isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS). Whether we are talking about measuring isotopes in methane (CH4), carbon dioxide
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SOURCE LGR, Inc.
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