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The determination of the D/H ratio of non-exchangeable hydrogen in cellulose extracted from aquatic and land plants

Epstein, Samuel and Yapp, Crayton J. and Hall, John H. (1976) The determination of the D/H ratio of non-exchangeable hydrogen in cellulose extracted from aquatic and land plants. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 30 (2). pp. 241-251. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/0012-821X(76)90251-X.

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A method has been developed for the analysis of D/H ratios of non-exchangeable hydrogen in plant cellulose. Plant samples are nitrated at low temperature and pure cellulose nitrate is extracted by acetone dissolution. Tests of this nitrated product have demonstrated that the nitration-extraction procedure eliminates the OH hydrogen and does not alter the D/H ratio of the cellulose carbon-bound hydrogen. Significant differences exist between δD values of plant total hydrogen and δD values of cellulose nitrate hydrogen. This difference is due to the effect of chemical heterogeneity of the δD value of plant material. Plant-extracted cellulose nitrate D/H ratios are systematically related to the D/H ratios of the associated environmental water. The overall relationship is linear with slope of one and intercept of −22%. Five aquatic plants which grew at 16–17°C are related isotopically to the water by a linear curve with a slope of 1 and intercept of −36%. Three plants which grew at 28–29°C have an intercept of −11%. The general dependence of plant cellulose non-exchangeable hydrogen D/H ratios on the D/H ratios of the associated environmental water suggests that variations of the extracted cellulose nitrate δD values of plants can be used as indicators of climatic change.

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Additional Information:© 1976 Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company. Received September 11, 1975. Revised version received February 23, 1976. John Hall and his companions lost their lives on August 10, 1971, during their ascent on Mt. St. Elias, Yukon Territories. His contributions to this research, some aspects of which were to be his thesis work, were important during the early stages of its development. We wish to extend our thanks to Jane Young for performing some of the analyses. In addition, we are grateful to H.D. Bruhn, University of Wisconsin; J.W. Burlton, Forestry Commission, Inverness-Shire, Scotland; C.E. Cutress, University of Puerto Rico; C. Emiliani, University of Miami; C.W. Ferguson and V.C. La Marche, Jr., University of Arizona; S.J. Lambert and H.P. Taylor, Jr., California Institute of Technology, for providing some of the samples analyzed in this work. We would also like to express our appreciation to M.J. DeNiro for aiding in the collection of samples. Finally, we benefitted greatly from discussions with J.F. Bonner, M.J. DeNiro and S.J. Lambert. This work was supported by NSF grant DES71-0558A3. During the past year, one of us was partially supported by NSF grant OCD75-15938.
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences2667
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Official Citation:Samuel Epstein, Crayton J. Yapp, John H. Hall, The determination of the D/H ratio of non-exchangeable hydrogen in cellulose extracted from aquatic and land plants, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 30, Issue 2, May 1976, Pages 241-251, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:39451
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:19 Jul 2013 14:35
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:44

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