Sample Requirements for Boron Isotope Analysis

Sample size will vary depending on the sample type (water, coral, shells, carbonate) and concentration of boron. The lab offers boron concentration for an additional fee only in conjunction with the isotope measurements. The following recommendations are general guidelines which help us to provide better service to our customers. We always recommend that you choose the best samples for your research objectives. Please feel free to contact us for advice if you are concerned that your samples may be too small.

Sample Types:

Water – 100 mL: For boron analysis in water, use any type of small-neck plastic bottle (HDPE, LDPE, PP) to collect your sample. Rinse the bottle with the running sample water prior to collection. Do not add any chemicals to the water, do not acidify the water. Fill the bottle all the way to the top, you may leave a small space at the top (keep the neck of the bottle empty) to allow for any necessary expansion during shipment. Please put the bottles inside a plastic bag and seal the bag with a zip-tie or duct tape. Clearly label both bottle and the plastic bag.

Note: Water samples will be screened for B concentration prior to isotope dilution and extraction chromatography processes for purification and measurement. Only samples with a concentration of 10 ppb or greater will be selected for analysis. If a sample is considered not suitable for analysis, the client will only be charged for the screening.

Shells, Coral, Carbonates – 200 mg: For the best results, make sure your samples are clean and free from clay particles and other detritus. Do not leach samples with acid. Frequent sonication and rinsing with methanol may be utilized to remove clay particles and other detritus. Homogenize your samples, preferably using an agate mortar and pestle, and transfer into plastic vials. Avoid using any types of glass vials. Homogenized samples will be dissolved in 0.45mol/l HNO3 and the pH of the solution will be adjusted to 7–8.

Contact the lab for additional information on sample submission.

Note: Send sample in plastic vials or in a ziplock bag with proper labeling. DO NOT wrap samples in aluminum or any metal foil. Use weighing paper if you need to wrap your samples. DO NOT send samples in glass vials as it may contaminate your sample with excessive boron.