Journal article

EXTERNAL-SOURCE CONTAMINATION DURING EXTRACTION DISTILLATION IN ISOTOPE-RATIO ANALYSIS OF SOIL INORGANIC NITROGEN

DL CHEN, PM CHALK

ANALYTICA CHIMICA ACTA | ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV | Published : 1991

Abstract

The sources of contamination introduced during the extraction, distillation and drying phases of isotope-ratio analysis of soil inorganic nitrogen (ammonium and nitrite + nitrate) were identified, and the individual amounts of contaminants were quantified by isotope dilution. The procedure involves addition of internal standard solutions of 15N-labelled ammonium and nitrite to reagent blanks which are carried through each stage of the analysis at the same time as the test samples. Potassium chloride extractants, filter-papers, distillation reagents and atmospheric ammonia all contributed to dilution of the sample 15N. Some materials tested contained sufficient contaminants to cause large err..

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