Frequently Asked Questions on Boron Isotopes
1. What is the minimum boron concentration for a water sample to be considered for this analysis?
Only samples with boron concentrations of 10 ppb or higher can be considered for boron isotopic analysis.
2. What if the submitted samples are not suitable for this analysis?
If the boron concentrations of the samples are too low, we will only charge for the concentration screening.
3. If water samples have been acidified, can they be sent for boron analysis?
Once chemicals have been added to the samples, the chemistry of the samples have been changed, and the effect of those chemicals on our extraction chromatography is not known. Also, we do not know if the chemicals contain traces of boron or not. Since we conduct these analyses in a boron-free environment, we would not be able to accept those samples.
4. Are the boron concentrations available as well?
Yes, these can be provided in conjunction with the boron isotopic analysis for an additional fee. For more information, please contact us.
5. Why is foraminifera not a sample type that you accept for boron isotopes?
It is very difficult and labor intensive to measure boron on foraminifera due to the low concentration of boron and possible boron contamination (from clay and detrital materials). Cleaning procedure consists of rinsing with methanol, sonicating, rinsing with MilliQ, sonicating. These steps need to be repeated 30 times. If the client is willing to do the cleaning, we can measure boron on 10mg of cleaned samples.
6. Do I need to measure the pH value of samples before submission?
It is not a requirement for you to measure the pH value of your samples. This will be done by a lab specialist at our facility. We only ask that you do not alter the pH of the material in any way, as this will have a direct impact on the results of the analysis.
7. What precision does the boron analysis achieve?
The uncertainty on 10B/11B of the boric acid standard is ±0.000001to ±0.000005 95% confidence interval (CI). This uncertainty for δ11B is different and ranges from ±0.05 to ±0.25‰ at 95% CI.
8. What is the minimum detection limit for boron?
The minimum boron concentration for us to precisely measure the B-isotopes is 10 ppb. Measurement on samples with lower concentrations may be conducted, please contact the lab for more information.
Page last updated: April 2021
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This video excerpt is part of Beta Analytic’s webinar: Boron Isotopic Analysis