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TitleTriple isotopic ratios to characterize atmospheric N compounds in Alberta - Work in progress
AuthorSavard, M M; Vet, R; Smirnoff, A; Cole, A
SourceProcedia Earth and Planetary Science vol. 13, 2015 p. 316-319, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2015.07.075
Year2015
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20150096
PublisherElsevier
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Subjectsnitrogen; nitrate; isotopes; oxygen isotopes; transport mechanisms; nitrogen dioxide; ammonia
Illustrationstables
ProgramCoal & Oil Resources Environmental Sustainability, Environmental Geoscience
AbstractIs it possible to recognize source types of emissions using isotopic ratios in reactive-nitrogen (Nr)-bearing air species collected several kilometers downwind from their sources? The d15N values present the potential for fingerprinting sources of atmospheric Nr, whereas the d18O and d17O results may bring insights on transformation processes. Here we have sampled NH4+, NOx and NO3- in areas downwind from six sources in Alberta, Canada: coal-fired power plants, beef/pork feedlots, an oil upgrader/refinery complex, chemical industries, gas compressors and city traffic. The samples were prepared using the chemical conversion and thermal decomposition protocol to produce N2O, later analyzed to simultaneously obtain d15N, d18O and d17O values using a gold-furnace pre-concentrator online with an IRMS. Integrating the data obtained so far will help evaluate the possibility of fingerprinting some Albertan sources and of inferring reactions affecting N-species along their transport trajectories.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Is it possible to recognize source types of N-bearing air emissions collected several kilometers downwind from their sources using isotopic ratios? Isotopic ratios of nitrogen and oxygen are environmental indicators; the nitrogen isotopes present the potential for fingerprinting sources of N, whereas the oxygen ones may bring insights on transformation processes taking place in the atmosphere. We have sampled three types of N-bearing molecules (ammonia, nitrogen oxides and nitrate) downwind from six sources in Alberta: coal-fired power plants (CFPP), beef/pork feedlots, a petroleum complex, chemical industries, gas compressors and city traffic. The data produced suggest that CFPP and car emissions have characteristic isotopic properties that may help identifying the origin of some N-bearing molecules.
GEOSCAN ID296642