Fractionation in position-specific isotope composition during vaporization of environmental pollutants measured with isotope ratio monitoring by C-13 nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry


  • Julien Maxime
  • Parinet Julien
  • Nun Pierrick
  • Bayle Kevin
  • Höhener Patrick
  • Robins Richard J.
  • Remaud Gérald S.

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Isotopic fractionation of pollutants in terrestrial or aqueous environments is a well-recognized means by which to track different processes during remediation. As a complement to the common practice of measuring the change in isotope ratio for the whole molecule using isotope ratio monitoring by mass spectrometry (irm-MS), position-specific isotope analysis (PSIA) can provide further information that can be exploited to investigate source and remediation of soil and water pollutants. Position-specific fractionation originates from either degradative or partitioning processes. We show that isotope ratio monitoring by C-13 NMR (irm-C-13 NMR) spectrometry can be effectively applied to methyl tert-butylether, toluene, ethanol and trichloroethene to obtain this position-specific data for partitioning. It is found that each compound exhibits characteristic position-specific isotope fractionation patterns, and that these are modulated by the type of evaporative process occurring. Such data should help refine models of how remediation is taking place, hence back-tracking to identify pollutant sources. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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