JACEN  Vol.5 No.4 , November 2016
Evaluation of Accuracy and Precision of IRMS by Using Standard Materials and Applications
Abstract: The isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS) is an instrument that measures both of the elemental contents and isotope ratios of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and sulfur in environmental samples at the same time. In this study, we want to try to get two main goals; first, to make up for setting the analytical conditions such as accuracy and precision, second, to apply for comparing of the carbon and nitrogen isotope ratio of sediments in the abandoned mine located in middle province of Korea. For the first goal, a recently introduced IRMS was used to analyze CRM (certified reference materials), which helped to make up the analytical conditions of carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios. So, the accuracy and precision of isotope ratios and elemental contents were also assessed simultaneously, and also the results were very satisfactory. The analytical results of carbon reference materials (EMA-P2) showed an accuracy of -2.801 × 10‰ ± 0.01‰ (2σ) and a precision of 0.009‰ in the mass range from 0.008 μg - 0.162 μg. For nitrogen reference materials (EMA-P2), an accuracy of -1.632‰ ± 0.72‰ (2σ) was obtained in the mass range from 0.082 - 0.162 mg. These values of accuracy and precision are higher than those reported by other studies. For the second goal, carbon and nitrogen isotopes in river sediment near abandoned mines were analyzed based on the established analytical conditions. The result suggested that carbon isotope ratios ranged from -22.5‰ - -7.5‰ and nitrogen isotope ratios from -1.9‰ - 7.9‰. By comparing the isotope ratios and sampling sites of sediment, we know that the nitrogen isotope values in samples of entrance area of mine are greater than those of the farm house area, which is indicating the effects of organic materials. So, we could guess that the newly accumulated organic materials were much more in the farm house area than mine entrance area. And a result of this study, the accuracy and precision tests of IRMS using certified reference materials were very satisfactory and optimum analytical conditions were established well. And also, it was found that the applications of isotopic analysis for environmental samples by using the IRMS could be very useful for the studies on tracing pollution sources.
Cite this paper: Hwang, J. , Kim, B. , Kim, M. , Choi, J. , Kim, T. and Lee, W. (2016) Evaluation of Accuracy and Precision of IRMS by Using Standard Materials and Applications. Journal of Agricultural Chemistry and Environment, 5, 211-222. doi: 10.4236/jacen.2016.54022.

[1]   Henderson, A.K., Nelson, D.M., Hu, F.S., Huang, Y., Shuman, B.N. and Williams, J.W. (2010) Holocene Precipitation Seasonality Captured by a Dual Hydrogen and Oxygen Isotope Approach at Steel Lake, Minnesota. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 300, 205-214.

[2]   Kim, B.K., Nam, Y.J., Lee, W.S., Han, J.S. and Hwang, J.Y. (2012) The Study on Accuracy and Precision of Carbon Isotope Using Elemental Analyzer-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (EA-IRMS). Journal of the Korean Society for Environmental Research, 15, 245-255.

[3]   Kim, B.K., Hwang, J.Y., Lee, S.U., Kim, M.S. and Lee, W.S. (2013) The Study on Accuracy and Precision of Nitrogen Isotope Measurement Using Elemental Analyzer-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (EA-IRMS). Journal of the Korean Society for Environmental Research, 16, 1-9.

[4]   Shormar, B., Osenbrück, K. and Yahya, A. (2008) Elevated Nitrate Levels in the Groundwater of the Gaza Strip: Distribution and Sources. Science of the Total Environment, 389, 164- 174.

[5]   Kang, C.K., Choy, E.J., Hur, Y.B. and Myeong, J.I. (2009) Isotopic Evidence of Particle Size-Dependent Food Partitioning in Cocultured Sea Squirt Halocynthia roretzi and Pacific Oyster Crassostrea gigas. Aquatic Biology, 6, 289-302.

[6]   Hunkeler, D., Meckenstock, R.U., Lollar, B.S., Schmidt, T.C. and Wilson, J.T. (2008) A Guide for Assessing Biodegradation and Source Identification of Organic Ground Water Con- taminants Using Compound Specific Isotope Analysis (CSIA). Environmental Protection Agency, USA.

[7]   Xue, D., Botte, J., Baets, B.D., Accoe, F., Nestler, A., Taylor, P., Cleemput, O.V., Berglund, M. and Boeckx, P. (2009) Present Limitations and Future Prospects of Stable Isotope Methods for Nitrate Source Identification in Surface- and Groundwater. Water Research, 43, 1159-1170.

[8]   Mützel (Rauch), E., Lehn, C., Peschel, O., Holmann, S. and RoBmann, A. (2009) Assign- ment of Unknown Persons to Their Geographical Origin by Determination of Stable Iso- topes in Hair Samples. International Journal of Legal Medicine, 123, 35-40.

[9]   Hyodo, F., Tsugeki, N., Azuma, J., Urabe, J., Nakanishi, M. and Wada, E. (2008) Changes in Stable Isotopes, Lignin-Derived Phenols, and Fossil Pigments in Sediments of Lake Biwa, Japan; Implications for Anthropogenic Effects over the Last 100 Years. Science of the Total Environment, 403, 139-147.

[10]   Bebout, G.E., Idleman, B.D., Li, L. and Hilkert, A. (2007) Isotope-Ratio-Monitoring Gas Chromatography Methods for High-Precision Isotopic Analysis of Nanomole Quantities of Silicate Nitrogen. Chemical Geology, 240, 1-10.

[11]   Pang, G.F., Fan, C.L., Cao, Y.Z., Zhang, J.J., Li, X.M., Li, Z.Y. and Jia, G.Q. (2006) Study on Distribution Pattern of Stable Carbon Isotope Ratio of Chinese Honeys by Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 86, 315-319.

[12]   Torres, I.C., Inglett, P.W., Brenner, M., Kenney, W.F. and Reddy, K.R. (2012) Stable Isotope (δ13C and δ15N) Values of Sediment Organic Matter in Subtropical Lakes of Different Trophic Status. Journal of Paleolimnology, 47, 693-706.

[13]   Ehleringer, J.R., Cooper, D.A., Lott, M.J. and Cook, C.S. (1999) Geo-Location of Heroin and Cocaine by Stable Isotope Ratios. Forensic Science International, 106, 27-35.

[14]   Elliott, K.H., Cesh, L.S., Dooley, J.A., Letcher, R.J. and Ellitt, J.E. (2009) PCBs and DDE, but Not PBDEs, Increase with Trophic Level and Marine Input in Nestling Bald Eagles. Science of the Total Environment, 407, 3867-3875.

[15]   Lee, K.S., Bong, Y.S., Lee, D., Kim, Y. and Kim, K. (2008) Tracing the Sources of Nitrate in the Han River Watershed in Korea, Using δ15N- and δ18O- Values. Science of the Total Environment, 395, 117-124.

[16]   Marín-Guirao, L., Lloret, J. and Marin, A. (2008) Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotopes and Metal Concentration in Food Webs from a Mining-Impacted Coastal Lagoon. Science of the Total Environment, 393, 118-130.

[17]   Zou, L., Sun, M.Y. and Guo, L. (2006) Temporal Variations of Organic Carbon Inputs into the Upper Yukon River: Evidence from Fatty Acids and Their Stable Isotope Compositions in Dissolved, Colloidal and Particulated Phases. Organic Geochemistry, 37, 944-956.

[18]   Goni, M.A., Monacci, N., Gisewhite, R., Ogston, A., Crockett, J. and Nittrouer, C. (2006) Distributin and Sources of Particulate Organic Matter in the Water Column and Sediments of the Fly River Delta, Gulf of Papua (Papua New Guinea). Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Sci- ence, 69, 225-245.

[19]   Itoh, M., Takemon, Y., Makabe, A., Yoshimizu, C., Kohzu, A., Ohte, N., Tumurskh, D., Tayasu, I., Yoshida, N. and Nagata, T. (2011) Evaluation of Wastewater Nitrogen Transformation in a Natural Wetland (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) Using Dual-Isotope Analysis of Nitrate. Science of the Total Environment, 409, 1530-1538.

[20]   Yun, M., Wadleigh, M.A. and Pye, A. (2004) Direct Measurement of Sulphur Isotopic Composition in Lichens by Continuous Flow-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry. Chemical Geology, 204, 369-376.

[21]   Aguiniga, S., Sanchez, A. and Silverberg, N. (2010) Temporal Variations of C, N, δ13C, and δ15N in Organic Matter Collected by a Sediment Trap at Cuenca Alfonso, Bahía de La Paz, SW Gulf of California. Continental Shelf Research, 30, 1692-1700.

[22]   Torres, I.C., Inglett, P.W., Brenner, M., Kenney, W.F. and Reddy, K.R. (2012) Stable Isotope (δ13C, and δ15N) Values of Sediment Organic Matter in Subtropical Lakes of Different Trophic Status. Journal of Paleolimnology, 47, 693-706.

[23]   Paul, D., Skrzypek, G. and Fórizs, I. (2007) Normalization of Measured Stable Isotopic Compositions to Isotope Reference Scales—A Review. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 21, 3006-3014.

[24]   Stellard, F. and Elzinga, H. (2005) Analytical Techniques in Biomedical Stable Isotope Applications: (Isotope Ratio) Mass Spectrometry or Infrared Spectrometry? Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies, 41, 345-361.

[25]   Dickin, A.P. (2005) Radiogenic Isotope Geology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

[26]   Townsend, A. (Ed.) (1995) Encyclopedia of Analytical Science. Academic Press Limited, London.

[27]   ISO/IEC 17025 (2005) General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibra- tion Laboratories. International Organization for Standardization.