Multiple sulfur isotope analysis of volatile organic sulfur compounds and their sulfonium precursors in coastal marine environments

Harry Oduro*, Alexey Kamyshny, Weifu Guo, James Farquhar

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Volatile methylated sulfur compounds emitted from terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems play a significant role in the global sulfur cycle, yet no satisfactory methods are available to trace their source and transformation in natural systems. Here we present a method for quantification and multiple sulfur isotopic analysis of a variety of volatile sulfur species as well as their natural precursors via hydrodesulfurization with a Raney nickel catalyst. The detection limit of this method for methanethiol (a), dimethylsulfide (DMS), dimethyldisulfide (DMDS), and carbon disulfide (CS(2)) is 0.2 mg of sulfur per sample. Average recovery of similar to 95% was attained for samples containing more than 1.3 mg of these sulfur compounds. Triplicate to quadruplicate sulfur isotopic analyses of reduced standard materials yield average standard deviations of 0.3 parts per thousand, 0.02 parts per thousand, and 0.1 parts per thousand, respectively, for delta(34)S, Delta(33)S, and Delta(36)S.

    The method developed here was used for determination of sulfur isotopic compositions of volatile organic sulfur compounds (VOSCs) and their precursor dimethylsulfoniopropionoate (DMSP) in sediment cores and a C(4) plant Spartina alterniflora collected from the Delaware Great Marsh. Application of the method to these natural samples indicates that the S-isotope compositions of VOSCs and DMSP-S are similar to, but slightly (34)S-depleted (similar to 0.6-0.9), relative to porewater sulfide. These compounds are (34)S-enriched (similar to 1.7-2.0 parts per thousand.) relative to the compositions of the coexisting sulfide. Both suggest a relationship between source sulfide and these organic sulfur compounds. Published by Elsevier B.V.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-89
    Number of pages12
    JournalMarine Chemistry
    Volume124
    Issue number1-4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2011

    Keywords

    • SALT-MARSH SEDIMENTS
    • SPARTINA-ALTERNIFLORA
    • DIMETHYL SULFIDE
    • SULFATE REDUCTION
    • HYDROGEN-SULFIDE
    • REDUCED SULFUR
    • DIMETHYLSULFONIOPROPIONATE BIOSYNTHESIS
    • DISSOLVED SULFIDE
    • INORGANIC SULFUR
    • ABUNDANCE RATIOS

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