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An optimised method for the extraction and analysis of lipid biomarkers from stalagmites

Lookup NU author(s): Alison Blyth, Dr Paul Farrimond, Dr Martin Jones


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Lipid compositions preserved in stalagmites have significant potential for use in reconstruction of global climate change and regional vegetation cover, but the low organic content of stalagmites poses a problem both for clean extraction and for obtaining a high temporal resolution in palaeoenvironmental records. Here, we present an acid digestion method optimised for cleanliness and maximum lipid recovery. The use of acid digestion and hydrolysis improves lipid yields not only by releasing organic matter trapped within individual calcite crystals, but also by allowing access to the chemically-bound pool of lipids, particularly acidic compounds such as alkanoic acids, hydroxy acids, and alkanedioic acids. The technique also considerably reduces contamination problems in comparison to conventional soxhlet extraction. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Blyth AJ, Farrimond P, Jones M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Organic Geochemistry

Year: 2006

Volume: 37

Issue: 8

Pages: 882-890

ISSN (print): 0146-6380

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5290

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2006.05.003


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