Overview of Technique
Micro-Dumas combustion analysis for total carbon, total nitrogen, and sulfur in solid-phase samples is based on transformation to gas phase by extremely rapid and complete flash combustion of the sample material. We can analyze most ecological sample types (animal and plant tissue, soils, sediments, etc.) for carbon and nitrogen content and are currently limited to organic samples (e.g., animal and plant tissue) for sulfur analysis.
Sample Prep Considerations
Plant samples must be oven-dried, ball-milled to less than 250 μm particle size (talc-like consistency) and weighed (~3 mg, with μg digits significant) into 9 x 5 mm tin capsules before combustion. Poor precision can often be traced to inadequate grinding that leaves fibrous matter or visible granules in the sample. Clients may send us unprocessed samples (e.g., litterbag contents) or may provide any of the above processing themselves at a major reduction in price.