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Abstract

The application of a high-temperature electrochemical reactor based on stabilized zirconium dioxide (0.9 ZrO20.1 Y2O3) for organic gas sampling in continuous-flow isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (CF-IRMS) has been found to be efficient. This solid electrolyte reactor (SER) can also be used as a chromatographic detector for the quantitative measurements of organic gases. A three-electrode SER system was studied. Complete stoichiometric oxidation of organic gases has been achieved at 900–950°C due to the large catalytic surface area of the porous platinum coating. At this temperature, the oxygen ions formed from the oxygen of ambient air on the outer surface of the reactor migrate through the solid electrolyte under the action of the applied electric field and allow combustion of gases being analyzed to be effected. It should be noted that oxygen gas was not introduced into the gas-carrier flow. Similar results for the measurements of carbon isotope ratios were obtained at the oxidation of hydrocarbon gases in both the standard and the solid electrolyte reactors. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.