A new method to seal water in silver tubes for use in a TC/EA reduction unit using a semi-automated sealing apparatus can yield reproducibilities (1 standard deviation) of δ2H and &delta18O measurements of 1.0 ‰ and 0.06 ‰, respectively. These silver tubes containing reference waters may be preferred for calibration of H- and O-bearing materials analyzed with a TC/EA reduction unit. The new sealing apparatus employs a computer controlled stepping motor to produce silver tubes identical in length. The reproducibility of mass of water sealed in tubes (in a range of 200 to 400 µg) can be as good as 1 percent. Although silver tubes sealed with reference waters are robust and can be shaken or heated to 110 °C with no loss of integrity, they should not be frozen because the expansion during the phase transition of water to ice will break the cold seals and all water will be lost. They should be shipped in insulated containers. This new method eliminates air inclusions and isotopic fractionation of water associated with the loading of water into capsules using a syringe. The method is also more than an order of magnitude faster than preparing water samples in ordinary Ag capsules. Nevertheless, some laboratories may prefer loading water into silver capsules because expensive equipment is not needed, but they are cautioned to apply the necessary corrections for evaporation, back exchange with laboratory atmospheric moisture, and blank.
Additional publication details
Novel silver tubing method for quantitative introduction of water into high temperature conversion systems for stable hydrogen and oxygen isotopic measurements