Picture of wind turbine against blue sky

Open Access research with a real impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs.

The Energy Systems Research Unit (ESRU) within Strathclyde's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is producing Open Access research that can help society deploy and optimise renewable energy systems, such as wind turbine technology.

Explore wind turbine research in Strathprints

Explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research content

Development of an advanced on-line position-specific stable carbon isotope system and application to methyl tert-butyl ether

Gauchotte, C. and O'Sullivan, G. and Davis, Simon and Kalin, R. (2009) Development of an advanced on-line position-specific stable carbon isotope system and application to methyl tert-butyl ether. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 23 (19). pp. 3183-3193. ISSN 0951-4198

[img]
Preview
PDF
Gauchotte_et_al_2009_RCM.pdf - Draft Version

Download (272kB) | Preview

Abstract

We present an advanced system for on-line position-specific carbon isotope analysis. The main limitation of on-line intramolecular isotope ratio measurements has been that optimal pyrolytic fragments are obtained mostly at temperatures where the analyte has not completely reacted. As a result of undetermined isotopic fractionation, the isotopic signatures of the pyrolysis products are not strictly equal to these of the equivalent moieties in the parent molecule. We designed a pyrolytic unit in which both temperature and reaction time are variable parameters, enabling determination of the enrichment factor of the pyrolysis at optimal temperature by construction of a Rayleigh plot. In the case of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) presented here, a 'pre-pyrolysis' fractionation of MTBE leading to a depletion of 0.9 parts per thousand was discovered and the enrichment factor of the optimal pyrolysis reaction was determined at -1.7 parts per thousand. Absolute delta C-13 values of two functional groups of MTBE - the methoxy group and the 2-methylpropane group - could be determined with 95% confidence intervals of 0.4 parts per thousand and 0.5 parts per thousand, respectively.