17 Apr 2023
 | 17 Apr 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

A flexible device to produce a gas stream with precisely controlled water vapour mixing ratio and isotope composition based on microdrop dispensing technology

Harald Sodemann, Alena Dekhtyareva, Alvaro Fernandez, Andrew Seidl, and Jenny Maccali

Abstract. Here we describe a versatile device to produce a flow of air-vapour mixture with controlled humidity and water isotope composition based on microdrop dispensing technology. By precisely controlling the contribution of water from two dispenser heads into a carrier gas stream, the device allows to set the air-vapour stream to any isotope ratio between two end member waters. In addition to presenting the design and several performance characteristics of the new system, we describe two application examples. First, we utilize the device to determine a common artifact of vapour isotope analyzers, known as the mixing ratio – isotope ratio dependency. Second, we utilize the device to provide a constant background stream of humid air for fluid inclusion water isotope analysis in stalagmites. The observed flexibility and precision of the device underpints its usefulness and potential for a wide range of applications in atmospheric water vapour isotope measurement applications. Future improvements could focus on reducing the number of manual interventions and improved control at high flow rates.

Harald Sodemann et al.

Status: open (until 16 Jun 2023)

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Harald Sodemann et al.

Harald Sodemann et al.


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Short summary
We describe a device that allows to produce a continuous stream of water vapour with a specified level of humidity. As a main innovation, we can mix waters with different water isotope composition. Through a series of tests we show that the performance characteristics of the device are in line with specifications. We present two laboratory applications where the device proves useful, first in characterizing instruments, and second for the analysis of water contained in stalagmites.