A new approach to supply oxygen to reactor that greatly simplifies the compound specific carbon isotopic analysis using mass spectrometer

Extending the Life of a System Used for Compound-Specific Carbon Isotopic Analysis


We have developed a system that extends the life of the commercial gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry systems used for compound-specific isotopic analysis (CSIA), by incorporating an automatic pressure control (APC) to maintain oxidative capacity over prolonged use. 

Market Opportunity

CSIA is a common and powerful analytical technique used in areas such as earth and environmental science, and forensic science. It can be performed with commercial GC and/or mass spectrometry. The oxidation reactors used in GC and mass spectrometry, however, are costly and tend to have very short lifetimes, as with repeated re-oxidation over short durations. reactors frequently break and the oxidizable material fully oxidizes too quickly. The need for frequent replacement and reoxidation can also cause lengthy delays that can increase the potential for analytical errors. Thus, there is a need for a way to extend the usable lives of commercial GC and mass spectrometry systems.

Innovation and Meaningful Advantages

We have developed a system that extends the usable life of the oxidation reactor and oxidant used in GC and mass spectrometry for CSIA, by incorporating an APC that maintains a constant flow rate of oxygen to the reactor, regardless of temperature fluctuations. The improved control of the oxygen flow rate also allows for the use of nickel, which lasts longer than the traditional copper, as the oxidizable material. Our reliable and

cost-efficient system, which significantly reduces the frequency of the need to replace the reactor and oxidizable material used by the reactor, can increase productivity 10-fold or more while greatly improving data quality.

Collaboration Opportunity

We are interested in exploring 1) startup opportunities with investors; 2) collaborations with leading research companies; and 3) licensing opportunities with research companies.

Principal Investigator

Yongsong Huang, PhD

Professor of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences

Brown University



IP Information 

PCT/US23/21322 Published November 9, 2023


Victoria Campbell, PhD

Director of Business Development


Brown Tech ID 3223




Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Brown Technology Innovations
350 Eddy Street - Box 1949
Providence, RI 02903
Yongsong Huang
Rafale Tarozo
Ewerton Santos
Marcelo Alexandre
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