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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

EGU 2023: Elementar Showcase Innovative Water Nitrate Pollution Tracking Tool

2023’s European Geosciences Union General Assembly saw elemental analysis company, Elementar, make waves with the launch of groundbreaking new sample preparation methods.

The company attended the event in Vienna to discuss the innovative titanium (III) preparation method, which can significantly reduce the costs and challenges associated with nitrate isotope analysis – a development that could greatly expand the future potential of this vital form of environmental analysis.

The experts at Manchester-based Elementar UK have also published a new whitepaper entitled “Is this the future of nitrate isotope analysis?”. The whitepaper breaks down the potential benefits of the titanium (III) method, including removing the barriers that have prevented smaller labs from working with nitrate samples.

There is a pressing need for new research into the impact of human activity on the global nitrogen cycle, and the role of artificial fertilisers and livestock farming in driving water and air pollution. To accomplish this, laboratories need access to reliable, efficient and accurate tools for understanding the sources of environmental nitrate, but historically, this has been challenging due to the difficulty and expense of preparing nitrate samples for analysis.

Dr Calum Preece, Product Manager (Environmental Market) at Elementar UK, said: “Nitrate pollution is a major problem around the globe. Stable isotope analysis of nitrate and nitrite allows us to separate different sources of nitrate to determine where this pollution might be coming from, helping us to mitigate the worst effects of our inputs into the nitrogen cycle.

“Our new whitepaper shows how Dr Wassenaar’s work on the titanium (III) method allows even novice labs to perform high-quality isotopic analysis of nitrate with easily obtained reagents and basic laboratory infrastructure.

The titanium (III) method, co-created by Dr Leonard Wassenaar and Dr Mark Altabet, represents a major advancement. This single-step process allows nitrate to be prepared for analysis quickly, simply and at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

Dr Wassenaar has contributed to Elementar’s new whitepaper to explain the advantages of his new method, which can be performed in only a few hours, without the need for specialist knowledge, expensive setup or toxic chemicals.

Dr Wassenaar said: “We have produced probably the fastest system for producing nitrate isotope measurements from the preparation side, coupled with the greenhouse gas parallel processing capabilities of EnvirovisION.”

EnvirovisION, the newest stable isotope analyser platform from Elementar, was developed with the titanium (III) method in mind. It is a powerfully effective tool for identifying the sources, sinks and cycling of nitrogen throughout terrestrial and marine ecosystems and into the atmosphere, as well as for greenhouse gas analysis.

To read the whitepaper in full, visit the following link and download the whitepaper for free: https://www.elementar.com/en-gb/balancing-the-nitrogen-cycle/is-this-the-future-of-nitrate-isotope-analysis-an-elementar-whitepaper

Learn more about Elementar’s work in the area of nitrogen analysis, please visit our Balancing the Nitrogen Cycle information hub.



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