IM-CRDS: Finally, A Better Way to Extract and Analyze Water Isotopes from Plant Leafs, Soils, Tissues - Precise Data in <5 Mins

At Picarro, we not only like to make great instruments but we also like to deliver real-world solutions to difficult problems facing scientists. Extracting water samples for isotopic analysis from plant leafs, stems, soils, small organisms and other small samples has been a difficult problem. Legacy technology required massive cryogenic distillation systems that occupy an entire lab bench, require a highly-skilled technician to process a sample, and also required a large sample volume to distill down. Oh, and the process took 90 minutes or more.

April 4, 2011

Congratulations to Earth Networks for its Green:Net Award!

We were excited to see that Picarro customer Earth Networks has won an award as one of the 10 Big Idea winners for the Earth2Tech/Gigaom Green:Net conference this April. The award went to Earth Networks in a large part because of their ambitious plan to build the world's largest and first privately funded greenhouse gas measurement network.

March 31, 2011

Business cards and instruments

Recognize this? You could take a picture like this in almost any lab around the world. Carefully taped on the front of a tremendously expensive, state of the art piece of equipment, a little rectangle of paper with the name and number of the person to call when the darn thing breaks. You can find these cards everywhere - in research institution, industrial plants, academic labs. Sometimes the card is yellowed with age, or covered with amendments, additional numbers, and notes on how to make the darn thing work.

March 11, 2011

John and the Volcano: Running an Analyzer at the Edge of Creation

This is a picture from one of our customers / collaborators, John Stix and fellow intrepid researchers from the Earth and Planetary Sciences Deparment at McGill University in Canada. We believe this is the first time anyone has driven a live, running anallyzer up and down a smoking volcano to capture gas concentration samples.

March 10, 2011

Being a productive member of the measurement community

We're in an interesting spot, providing instruments to such a wide variety of folks – we have thought leaders in the greenhouse gas and isotope world who have years of experience using and development their own instruments and measurement methods. On the other end, we have entering undergraduate students who find themselves in front of one of our analyzers – and being able to produce data with it with virtually no training, since the instruments are easy to use and reasonably inexpensive relative to earlier technology… and that’s a good thing, though there are caveats.

March 8, 2011

Department of Crop and Forest Sciences, University of Lleida

LLEIDA, SPAIN — Our lab performs isotopic water analysis with a Picarro L2120-i analyzer. Our principal application using the Picarro analyzer is the isotopic analysis of xylem water to identify variations in water source during its uptake from the soil. This is based on the fact that there is an evaporation gradient in the soil and as a result, water obtained from distinct depths has a distinct isotopic signal. We are using this principle in distinct contexts to resolve various questions...

January 1, 2011