Picarro Inc. has debuted its unique ultra-trace gas analyser for precise measurements of Isotopic CO2, a marker of the type of CO2 and its origin, with the instrument based on cavity ring down spectroscopy (CRDS) technology exclusively licensed from Stanford University and further enhanced at Picarro.

Picarro's CRDS analysers deliver parts-per-billion to parts-per-trillion gas sensitivity at high speed and without interference, to meet the requirements of the most demanding applications. The Isotopic CO2 application was originally developed for the Los Alamos National Laboratory where the instruments are used to study CO2 ratios and concentration in plants and the atmosphere.

Fast response, continuous isotope measurement systems allow for a better understanding of CO2 flow through ecosystems, water usage, the biochemistry of plants, and in a multitude of other temporal and spatial studies.

Additional applications for Isotopic CO2 systems include the monitoring of carbon sequestration programs and measuring mud-gas samples collected during the natural gas exploration process. Carbon sequestration is a process of capturing carbon emissions from power plants, compressing them, and placing these underground rather than into the atmosphere.

The new analyser incorporates a platform first introduced by Picarro in 2005 and measures single spectral features in a compact flow cell, with an effective path length of up to 12km which produces huge advantages in sensitivity, selectivity, precision, and data quality. The instrument is also an exceptionally rugged analyser, making it ideal for deployment in any environment and essentially drift and maintenance free, requiring no consumables.

Picarro, a well capitalised company, is currently selling to customers worldwide involved in the study of greenhouse gasses, researching carbon and water cycles, controlling process emissions, measuring gas impurities and providing process analytical testing. The company has a number of product introductions planned in the coming weeks beginning with analyzers for isotopic water vapour, isotopic liquid water and HF gas analysis.