Two techniques for the conversion of water to hydrogen for stable isotope ratio determination have been developed that are especially suited for automated multisample analysis. Both procedures involve reaction of zinc shot with a water sample at 450 ??C. in one method designed for water samples in bottles, the water is put in capillaries and is reduced by zinc in reaction vessels; overall savings in sample preparation labor of 75% have been realized over the standard uranium reduction technique. The second technique is for waters evolved under vacuum and is a sealed-tube method employing 9 mm o.d. quartz tubing. Problems inherent with zinc reduction include surface inhomogeneity of the zinc and exchange of hydrogen both with the zinc and with the glass walls of the vessels. For best results, water/zinc and water/glass surface area ratios of vessels should be kept as large as possible.
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Multisample conversion of water to hydrogen by zinc for stable isotope determination