Laboratory for Stable Isotopes in soil, plant and air


Analysis of the stable isotopes abundance of light elements involved in bio-geochemical processes in soil-plant-air continuum. Applications include isotope ratio analysis at natural abundance levels and enriched levels for D/H, 13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O and 34S/32S. Analysis in bulk soil material, biological tissue, chars, concentrated precipitates; trace gas analysis (CH4, CO2, N2O); compound specific analysis, e.g. PLFA in cell membranes.

Technical specifications

Two Thermo Scientific IRMS instruments (Delta PLUS; Delta V Advantage)
Peripherals: Continuous flow Elemental Analyzers, Trace gas preparation-concentration (PreCon); Gas-Bench; GC-combustion


Internal working standards are verified against certified isotopic reference materials issued by the International Association of Atomic Energy (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria. Elemental concentrations are verified against standard chemical reference materials, biological samples calibrated by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD, USA, and soil standards calibrated by Elemental Microanalysis, Okehampton, UK.


Analyses are offered for internal and external research groups and scientists, consultancies and commercial companies.

The laboratory is used for teaching purposes at master- and Ph.D.-levels.

Conditions of use

Analyses are offered on prices according to academic and commercial standards, and will vary according to nature of cooperation, volume of analysis and delivery times. For specific pricing, contact responsible person. Sample preparation (e.g. drying, grinding, weighing) is offered at additional costs.

Analyses and routine trouble shooting is performed by technical staff. Data quality assessments and checks (Qa/Qc) is approved by responsible scientist.

The use of stable isotope techniques to study the sink source relationship of plant nutrients.

Analysis of stable isotopes (13C, 15N, 18O and 34S) is performed on soil, biological, water and gaseous samples by the use of EA-IRMS and GC-C-IRMS techniques. Isotopic variations are analysed at the natural abundance level as well as in enriched material from tracer studies. The research is mainly focused on the assessments of the nutrient flow in the soil-plant-atmospheres system. The isotope analysis is performed routinely on prepared samples. In addition, we offer complex whole-experiment solutions including experimental planning, set-up, maintenance, sampling, analysis and data evaluation.

Responsible person

Per Ambus, Professor

Office: +45 3533 6626
Mobile: +45 2461 1987