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Geochemical Journal
Geochemical Journal An open access journal for geochemistry
Published for geochemistry community from Geochemical Society of Japan.

Elemental and isotopic abundances of rare gases in natural gases obtained by a quadrupole mass spectrometer

Yuji Sano, Takeshi Tominaga, Hiroshi Wakita
Geochemical Journal, Vol. 16, No. 6, P. 279-286, 1982


An attempt was made to determine both elemental and isotopic abundances of rare gases in natural gases by means of a conventional quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS). Elemental abundances and isotopic ratios of Ar, Kr and Xe on the atmospheric concentration level were successfully measured by the present method. Reproducibility of 10–20% was obtained for 4He, 20Ne, 36Ar, 84Kr and 132Xe measurements. Isotopic ratios of Ar, Kr and Xe were determined within about 2% experimental errors, except for 78Kr/84Kr, 124Xe/132Xe and 126Xe/132Xe. Sensitivity and reproducibility of the measurements were examined by repeating runs of the atmospheric air. In order to verify the applicability of the present method to terrestrial natural gas analyses, eight typical samples of natural gases in Japan, with differences in major compositions, were measured. The values observed by a QMS in this work are generally in good agreement with those obtained by magnetic deflection mass spectrometers. Enrichment of radiogenic 40Ar was observed in some CO2-rich natural gas samples. Observed Kr and Xe isotopic ratios in N2-rich gases and CH4-rich gases coincided with the atmospheric ratios within experimental error.

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