BaSIBL - Basel Stable Isotope and Biogeochemistry Laboratory



We operate modern laboratories for the analysis of stable isotope ratios in various samples, standard trace gas and hydrochemistry measurements, and basic microbiological analyses. The isotope facilities are part of the “Analytical Central Laboratories for Environmental and Geo- Chemistry” (Analytische Zentrallabors für Umwelt- und Geochemie - AZUG), shared between different research groups within the Department of Environmental Science (DUW) (e.g., Prof. Dr. Lehmann/Biogeochemistry, Prof. Dr. Alewell/Environmental Geosciences). BaSIBL is closely associated with a second stable isotope facility within the DUW, the Basel Stable Isotope Ecology Lab (BaSIEL).

Mass spectrometric equipment and apparatus of the BaSIBL includes three magnetic sector IRMS (Thermo Fisher Scientific Delta V plus; Thermo Fisher Scientific Delta V Advantage; Sercon Integra 2 EA-IRMS) with different peripheries for the analysis of gaseous, solid and liquid samples (Thermo Fisher Scientific Flash EA, TC-EA, and Gas-Bench II) and organic components (Thermo Fisher Scientific GC-IsoLink), as well as a laser absorption spectroscopy water isotope analyzer (LGR), a membrane-inlet mass spectrometer (MIMS), and a Thermo Fisher Scientific GC quadrupole MS system.

We perform stable isotope analyses of several light elements, at natural abundance and tracer levels. We mostly use continuous-flow IRMS, but for specific applications requiring ultrahigh-precision a dual-inlet is available for measurements with our Delta V Plus IRMS.

The following isotope analyses are done routinely in our lab:
•    C and N in solid samples (sediment, soil, plant and bone collagen)
•    N (and O) in in-/organic dissolved N species (NO3-, NO2-, NH4+)
•    Gases (dissolved and in air samples): CO2, N2, N2O, and O2
•    Compound specific C-isotope analysis using GC-IRMS
•    Dissolved in-/organic C in water or extracts
•    H and O in water samples