Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Modern Methods and Applications for Isotope Analysis of Light Elements

Date: 04 March 2019 - 07 March 2019
Location: UFZ Leipzig, Germany

Target audience

PhD students involved in the evaluation of the fate of chemicals in the environment, Background in environmental studies


The theoretical and practical one week course includes lectures covering:

  1. Principles of Compound Specific Isotope analysis (CSIA), environmental applications and current challenges;
  2. Instrumentation in isotope analysis (Isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS), Elemental analyser/high temperature pyrolyser (N,C, S/O,H), GC-Combustion/GC-Pyrolysis (C,N/H) and LC-IsoLink HPLC interface system (C);
  3. Method validation and quality assurance (QA) in isotope analysis;
  4. Isotope fractionation during microbial reactions;
  5. Two-dimensional (2D)-CSIA for assessing sources and sinks of organic pollutants.

There are laboratory practical exercises covering different instruments (EA-IRMS, GC-C-IRMS, GC-P-IRMS), applications (forensic, fractionation analysis) and QA protocols. Finally there are different laboratory case studies for calculation and interpretation of the main isotopic parameters (isotopic fractionation (ε), isotopic fractionation factor (α), 2D analysis and isotope balance) and field case studies with real case forensic applications and assessment of biodegradation of organic contaminants at polluted aquifers.

Didactic aim

Concepts and approaches using compound specific isotope analysis; basic knowledge of the equipment and analysis and application of the concepts

Former occurrences of this course

  • 12-15 March 2018
  • 7-10 November 2016

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