CH and CC Clumping in Ethane by High-resolution Mass Spectrometry

Clog, M. D. and Eiler, J. M. (2014) CH and CC Clumping in Ethane by High-resolution Mass Spectrometry. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA USA, 15-19 Dec 2014.

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Ethane (C2H6) is an important natural compound, and its geochemistry can be studied through 13C-13C, 13C-D and/or D-D clumping. Such measurements are potentially important both as a stepping stone towards the study of more complex organic molecules and, in its own regard, to understand processes controlling the generation, migration and destruction of natural gas. Isotopic clumping on C-C and C-H bonds could be influenced by thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, diffusion or gas mixing. Previous work showed that 13C-D clumping in methane generally reflects equilibrium and provides a measure of formation temperature (Stolper et al 2014a), whereas 13C-13C clumping in ethane is likely most controlled by chemical-kinetic processes and/or inheritance from the isotopic structure of source organic compounds (Clog et al 2014). 13C-D clumping in ethane has the potential to provide a thermometer for its synthesis, as it does for methane. However, the difference in C-H bond dissociation energy for these two compounds may suggest a lower ‘blocking temperature’ for this phenomenon in ethane (the blocking temperature for methane is ≥~250 C in geological conditions). We present analytical techniques to measure both 13C-13C and 13C-D clumping in ethane, using a novel two-instrument technique, including both the Thermo 253-Ultra and the Thermo DFS. In this method, the Ultra is used to measure the relative abundances of combinations nearly isobaric isotopologues: (13C12CH6 + 12C2DH5)/12C2H6 and (13C2H6 + 12C13CDH5)/12C2H6, free of other isobaric interferences like O2. The DFS, a very high resolution single-collector instrument, is then used to measure the ratios of isotopologues of ethane at a single cardinal mass: 12C2DH5/13C12CH6, and 12C13CDH5/13C2H6, with precisions of ~1 permil. Those 4 measurements allow us to calculate the bulk isotopic composition (D and 13C) as well as the abundance of 13C2H6 and 13C12CDH5. We also present progress on the development of software tools to use the data measured with the DFS efficiently.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Clog, Dr Matthieu
Authors: Clog, M. D., and Eiler, J. M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre

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