Stable carbon isotopic ratio measurement of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as a tool for source identification and apportionment : a review of analytical methodologies
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Talanta : the international journal of pure and applied analytical chemistry. - Oxford, 1958, currens
, p. 435-450
University of Antwerp
The measurement of the ratio of stable isotopes of carbon (13C/12C expressed as a δ13C) in the individual components of a sample may be used as a means to identify the origin of these components. This article reviews the approaches and reports on the successes and failures of source identification and apportionment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) with the use of compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA). One of the conditions for a precise and accurate analysis of isotope ratios with the use of GC-C-IRMS is the need for well separated peaks, with no co-elutions, and reduced unresolved complex mixture (UCM). Additionally, special care needs to be taken for an investigation of possible isotope fractionation effects introduced during the analytical treatment of samples. With the above-mentioned problems in mind, this review discusses in detail and compares current laboratory methodologies, mainly in the extraction and subsequent clean-up techniques used for environmental samples (air particulate matter, soil and sediments). Sampling strategies, the use of isotopic internal standards and the ranges for precision and accuracy are also reported and discussed.