Science Inventory



Burke Jr., R A. USE OF GC-MS/COMBUSTION/IRMS TO IDENTIFY AND DETERMINE THE STABLE CARBON ISOTOPIC RATIO OF INDIVIDUAL LIPIDS. Presented at 221st American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Diego, CA, April 1-5, 2001.


The overall objective of this task is to develop quantitative relationships for assessing the vulnerability of aquatic resources to global change. The task will contribute experimental and modeling tools for assessments of the interactions of global climate and UV changes with coral reefs and selected watersheds and estuaries in the U.S. These activities are contributing primarily to two APGs in the ecosystems component of the Global Change Research Multiyear Plan: the 2006 APG (APG 3) on building the capacity to assess global change impacts on coastal aquatic ecosystems, including coral reefs and estuaries and the 2004 APG (APG 2) on building capacity to assess and respond to global change impacts on selected watersheds. One major task objective is to assess interactions of global warming and UV exposure that are contributing to the observed coral bleaching and disease. Our lab is working with scientists at the NHEERL Gulf Ecology Lab to characterize UV exposure and effects at several coral reef sites. Other research in this task is examining the interactions between UV-induced breakdown of refractory organic matter in estuaries and coastal areas that enhance UV penetration into the water and concurrently form biologically-labile nitrogen-, phosphorus- and carbon-containing substances that stimulate productivity and microbial activity. This task also involves research in central Brazil that is part of the Large Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment (LBA). The objectives of this project are to assess the impacts of land use and climatic changes on soil nutrient cycles and microbiota, trace gas exchange and water quality in the Brazilian cerrado. This work involves a close collaboration between EPA and a group of scientists from the Department of Ecology, University of Brasilia, Brazil. Other objectives of this task are to assess the interactions of land use and climate changes with the ecological functioning of streams in watersheds of the Piedmont region of the southestern U.S.


A system that couples a gas chromatograph (GC) via a split to a quadrapole mass spectrometer (MS) and, through a combustion interface, to an isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS) allows the simultaneous detection of electron impact mass spectra and stable carbon isotope ratio analysis of individual compounds separated on a single capillary column. The split is designed so that about 80% of the flow is diverted to the combustion/IRMS with the remainder going to the MS. This split ratio is generally adequate for compound identification and allows useful
accuracy and precision of stable carbon isotopic analysis (0.5 to 2 parts per thousand). This system has been successfully used for about five years to analyze various mixtures of lipids. These lipid mixtures have included alkanes and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) resulting from the combustion of biomass materials, and the methyl esters of fatty acids derived from soil and sediment microorganisms.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 04/01/2001
Record Last Revised: 06/06/2005
Record ID: 60893