Measurement of labile Cu in soil using stable isotope dilution and isotope ratio analysis by ICP-MS

Nolan, Annette; Ma, Yibing; Lombi, Enzo; McLaughlin, Mike
November 2004
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Nov2004, Vol. 380 Issue 5/6, p789
Academic Journal
Isotope dilution is a useful technique to measure the labile metal pool, which is the amount of metal in soil in rapid equilibrium (<7 days) with the soil solution. This is normally performed by equilibrating soil with a metal isotope, and sampling the labile metal pool by using an extraction (Evalue), or by growing plants (Lvalue). For Cu, this procedure is problematic forEvalues, and impossible forLvalues, due to the short half-life of the64Cu radioisotope (12.4 h), which makes access and handling very difficult. We therefore developed a technique using enriched65Cu stable isotope and measurement of63Cu/65Cu ratios by quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to measure labile pools of Cu in soils usingEvalue techniques. Mass spectral interferences in detection of63Cu/65Cu ratios in soil extracts were found to be minimal. Isotope ratios determined by quadrupole ICP-MS compared well to those determined by high-resolution (magnetic sector) ICP-MS.Evalues determined using the stable isotope technique compared well to those determined using the radioisotope for both uncontaminated and Cu-contaminated soils.


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