Quantum Cascade Laser-Infrared Absorption Spectrometer for Clumped Methane Isotope Thermometry DCO Instrument uri icon

DCO ID 11121/1781-8947-7171-9390-CC


  • Principal investigator Ono purchased key equipment in late 2012 and, as reported at the DCO International Science Meeting in March 2013, made rapid progress in building a prototype system for quantum cascade laser absorption spectroscopy. Preliminary test results are excellent and the initial DCO/Sloan investment will be leveraged by support from the U.S. National Science Foundation, which has recommended funding for the PI’s proposal for further research. 

    The research lead by the team confirmed earlier measurements by mass-spectrometer that most geologic methane follows expected thermodynamic abundance.  They also demonstrated that methane samples from sites supporting active microbial methanogenesis (such as wetlands and cow rumens) and laboratory methanogen cultures carry unique non-statistical 13CH3D abundance. Currently the science team is applying the technique to test the origin of methane in various environments, including sites of serpentinization and marine hydrates

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