Onboard analysis of dissolved zinc everywhere in the open ocean with a Lab on Valve (LOV) system of the size of a bottle of wine is becoming possible

Thanks to the work of Maxime Grand and collaborators (2016, see reference below), it is now possible to analyse dissolved zinc (DZn) on board, from any kind of seawater using a “Lab On Valve (LOV)” method. For the first time, automated matrix removal, extraction of the target element, and fluorescence detection have been performed within a miniaturized flow manifold. The original flow programming is designed to pass sample through a minicolumn where the target analyte and other complexable cations are retained, while the seawater matrix is washed out. Once eluted, Zn is merged with a Zn selective fluorescent probe (FluoZin-3) prior to fluorescence detection in the LOV flow cell. This new shipboard method features a detection limit of 0.02 nM and a reagent consumption of 150 microliters per sample.

Successful comparison with GEOTRACES reference standards and analytical comparison with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) eventually validate this beautiful, tiny and robust method.

16 Grandetal
Figure: A close up of the Lab-On-Valve (LOV) module, where microliter volumes of fluids are manipulated prior to fluorescence detection in the LOV flow cell (red circle). Right: Comparison of DZn profiles from the South Indian Gyre analysed via LOV and ICPMS.


Grand, M. M., Chocholouš, P., Růžička, J., Solich, P., & Measures, C. I. (2016). Determination of trace zinc in seawater by coupling solid phase extraction and fluorescence detection in the Lab-On-Valve format. Analytica Chimica Acta, 923, 45–54. doi:10.1016/j.aca.2016.03.056


Latest highlights

Science Highlights

Particulate Trace Element Export in the North Atlantic Ocean

Authors estimated particulate trace element export fluxes and residence times in the upper North Atlantic Ocean


Science Highlights

Surface water trace element and isotope data challenge dust flux models

They reveal that atmospheric deposition and not the physical transport, is the most important process supplying Fe to phytoplankton in the South Pacific Gyre


Science Highlights

Dissolved iron and manganese fates reveal processes along the hydrothermal TAG plume

Authors performed high-spatial resolution analyses of dissolved iron and manganese samples collected at the Mid Atlantic Ridge


Science Highlights

The power of combining geochemical tracer data with direct current measurements

Learn about new discoveries done combining seawater Rare Earth Elements concentrations and direct physical oceanographic observations