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Analytical services 

The Centre routinely provides isotope analyses of solid materials, such as soils, carbonates, sediments, and plant and animal tissues.

We also provide analysis of 18O/16O, 2H/1H and 13C/12C (DIC and DOC) isotope ratios in liquid water samples. Contact us if you are interested in analyses of other matrices.


The sample size indicated is for one analysis. Larger sample sizes are preferred to ensure homogeneity of samples and to enable proper handling and repetitions where required.


Isotype Sample Type Machine Min. sample size depending on material

Precision (%.)

1 σ

 Analysis time
 δ13C and δ15N dual element (Natural Abundance) Plant, soil or animal tissues SerCon 20-22 IRMS or Thermo Delta V IRMS with EA  1-50 mg δ13C ±0.10‰

4-6 weeks
 δ13C and δ15N dual element (Enriched) Plant, soil or animal tissues SerCon 20-22 IRMS with EA  1-50 mg δ13C ±0.5‰

δ15N ±0.5‰
 4-6 weeks
 δ34S (single element) Plant, soil or animal tissues SerCon 20-22 IRMS with EA 1 mg BaSO4  δ34S ± 0.30 Contact us for timeframe
 δ13C and δ18O (dual element) Carbonates Thermo Delta XL IRMS with Gasbench II  0.1-0.5 mg δ13C ±0.10‰

δ18O ±0.2‰
6 weeks
 δ13C (single element) Dissolved inorganic carbon (liquid), CO2 Thermo Delta XL IRMS with Gasbench II  2 mL δ13C ± 0.10 6 weeks 
 δ13C (single element) Dissolved organic carbon (liquid) Thermo Delta V IRMS with LC Isolink  2 mL  δ13C ± 0.30 Contact us for timeframe
 δ2H and δ18O (dual element) Liquid and vapour water Picarro Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer  2 mL δ18O ±0.10‰

δ2H ±1.0‰
4-6 weeks
 δ18O (single element) Organic material, phosphates, sulphates Delta XL IRMS with TC/EA  0.5-1.0 mg  δ18O ± 0.30  6 weeks


  • Sample submission

    1. Complete the sample submission form, which must accompany your samples in transit

    WABC sample submission form [RTF, 79.2 KB]


    2. Submit samples either by post or by courier (for frozen/cold samples)

    Postal Address

    West Australian Biogeochemistry Centre (M090)
    University of Western Australia
    35 Stirling Highway
    Crawley 6009 WA

    Courier Address

    West Australian Biogeochemistry Centre (M090)
    Botany Building, Gr Floor Door G94
    Hackett Drive Entrance 3
    University of Western Australia
    Crawley 6009 WA

    WABC Parcel Address Label [PDF, 141.2 KB]
    WABC - Parcel Address Label [DOC, 191.0 KB]


    Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements. We will provide quotes on request. We promote research and give discount prices for academics and research students.

  • Sample preparation


    We can process your samples from their raw state. However, additional costs will be incurred for drying, grinding and weighing into tin/silver cups.

    If you intend to weigh your own samples before submission please contact us to discuss required sample weights. Samples need to be sent in separate trays if requiring separate analysis. Do not mix enriched and natural abundance samples in one tray.

    Please ensure trays are very well secured to ensure no shifting of samples between wells while in transit.


    Please send your liquid samples in sealed, airtight glass vials that are without head space.

    There are no costs for the transfer of your sample to our system, but if your sample needs to be filtered you will incur an additional cost. Please ensure samples are kept cold during transit. Your courier must be informed that samples must be refrigerated or kept cold with ice packs at all times.

    If your water samples are likely to contain a significant amount of organics (for example, metabolic waters, plant/soil extracts), please contact us before submitting samples.

    Cryogenic distillations

    Plant samples need to be fully wrapped in clingfilm or parafilm and kept cold. Soil samples need to be sent in well-sealed vials and kept cold.

    Samples may be frozen but please ensure that your courier does not allow them to thaw in transit.

Further information

We are actively working to improve analytical techniques and mathematical algorithms.

Please refer to our publications for details of several laboratory procedures.

  • Skrzypek G., Ford D. 2018, Reference materials selection for the stable carbon isotope analysis of dissolved carbon using a wet oxidation system. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. (in press, doi: 10.1002/rcm.8351).
  • Skrzypek G,Ford D. (2014) Stable isotope analyses of saline water samples on a cavity ring-down spectroscopy instrument. Environmental Science & Technology 48, 2827-2834 (DOI: 10.1021/es4049412).
  • Skrzypek G. (2013) Normalization procedures and reference material selection in stable HCNOS isotope analyses – an overview. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 405 (9), 2815-23 (DOI: 10.1007/s00216-012-6517-2).
  • Skrzypek G, Sadler R. (2011) A strategy for selection of reference materials in stable oxygen isotope analyses of solid materials. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 25, 1625-1630.
  • Halas S, Skrzypek G, Meier-Augenstein W, Pelc A, Kemp H. (2011) Inter-laboratory calibration of new silver orthophosphate comparison materials for stable oxygen isotope analysis of phosphates. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 25, 579-584.
  • Skrzypek G, Sadler R, Paul D. (2010) Error propagation in normalization of stable isotope data: a Monte Carlo analysis. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 24, 2697-2705.
  • Paul D, Skrzypek G, Forizs I. (2007) Normalization of measured stable isotope composition to isotope reference scale – a review. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 21, 3006-3014.
  • Paul D and Skrzypek G. (2007) Assessment of Carbonate-Phosphoric acid analytical technique performed using GasBench II in continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometry. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 262, 180-186.
  • Skrzypek G and Paul D. (2006) δ13C Analyses of calcium carbonate: comparison between the GasBench and Elemental Analyzer techniques. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 20, 2915-2920.
  • Paul D, Skrzypek G. (2006) Flushing time and storage effects on the accuracy and precision of carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of sample using the GasBench II technique. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 20, 2033-2040.
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