Elemental analyzers have been successfully coupled to stable-isotope-ratio mass spectrometers for online measurements of the δ34S isotopic composition of plants, animals and soils. We found that the online technology for automated δ34S isotopic determinations did not yield reproducible oxygen isotopic compositions in the SO2 produced, and as a result calculated δ34S values were often 1–3‰ too high versus their correct values, particularly for plant and animal samples with high C/S ratio. Here we provide empirical and analytical methods for correcting the S isotope values for oxygen isotope variations, and further detail a new SO2-SiO2 buffering method that minimizes detrimental oxygen isotope variations in SO2.
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Oxygen isotope corrections for online δ34S analysis