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SIL analytical / commercial services

Analytical / Commercial Services

The Stable Isotope Laboratory provides isotopic analysis on a commercial basis for a wide variety of compounds including water, gaseous hydrocarbons and dissolved organic compounds for carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen isotopes. For a consultation and a quote, please contact isotopes@geology.utoronto.ca.


Types of Analyses

Our laboratory offers commercial compound specific isotope analysis for H, C, N on samples in gas phase, in aqueous phase (dissolved in water) and for non-aqueous phase liquids (i.e. chlorinated solvents, petroleum hydrocarbons). We are also actively involved in developing new analytical techniques for isotope applications. If you wish to apply a new isotope technique in your area of specialty, please feel free to contact us: isotopes@geology.utoronto.ca.



Routine Analyses

Hydrocarbon gases (methane, ethane, propane, butane)

13C, 2H

H2 gas, H2O 2H
N2 gas 15N
Chlorinated hydrocarbons 13C
Dissolved inorganic C; CO2 13C
Petroleum hydrocarbons and fuel additives (MTBE) 13C, 2H



Facilities in the Stable Isotope Laboratory include two Finnigan MAT gas source mass spectrometers (252 and delta-+ XL), both in continuous flow configuration with a gas chromatograph enabling compound specific isotope analysis of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. In addition, we are equipped with a high temperature TC-EA (elemental analyzer) for isotopic analysis of hydrogen and oxygen; gas chromatographs and auto-analyzers for determination of concentrations of gaseous hydrocarbons and dissolved components in groundwater. Three vacuum lines and a dual inlet with a 12 position multi-port on the 252 enable preparation and off-line analyses of organic and inorganic compounds for standardization and calibration purposes.

Sampling Protocol + Shipping Instructions

The Stable Isotope Laboratory should be notified one month before a planned sampling event. Notification of overnight sample shipment should be done by phone and fax the day before shipment to preclude any delay in sample processing upon arrival.

US and International customers please declare only a nominal value (e.g. $5) for your shipped samples.  The samples have no commercial value.  If we are charged duties and/or taxes, you will be billed accordingly.

For details of sampling requirements and prices, contact isotopes@geology.utoronto.ca


Prices are dependent on the number of target compounds in your sample, concentration levels and requested turnaround time.

For a detailed quote please contact: isotopes@geology.utoronto.ca