Automated Infra-Red Inorganic Carbon Analyzer (AIRICA) | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

Automated Infra-Red Inorganic Carbon Analyzer (AIRICA)

The Automated Infra-Red Inorganic Carbon Analyzer (AIRICA by MARIANDA), was developed for precise measurements of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in sea water and pore water samples. DIC is the sum of inorganic carbon species (carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, carbonate and bicarbonate ions) in solution and is one of the four parameters that characterize the carbonate system of an aquatic environment. DIC analysis is relevant for studies related to marine biogeochemistry (e.g. estimation of the biological carbon pump), climate change and ocean acidification amongst others.

How does the AIRICA work?

At first, a high-precision syringe pump delivers a specific volume of sample. This sample is acidified with phosphoric acid and CO2 is released. A carrier gas (nitrogen) delivers the CO2 gas to a non-dispersive infrared analyzer, which determines the total concentration of CO2. The DIC is calculated based on the integrated (total) value of CO2 and the volume of the sample.

Use of the AIRICA?

The AIRICA is a bench top system that can process manually collected samples. It usually operates in the lab. However, it is compact and mobile enough in order to be used on board of a research vessel. The AIRICA can be used to analyze DIC of seawater samples, but also of extracted pore water samples from marine sediments.

Some studies

VLIZ is using the AIRICA to analyze samples from the Belgian part of the North Sea and supports activities relevant to ICOS and LifeWatch.

Technical details

  • Dimensions: 80 x 80 x 60 cm
  • Weight: 40 kg
  • LICOR Li7000 Infra-Red detector
  • Resolution: ± 2 μmol/kg
  • Accuracy: ± 4 μmol/kg
  • Sample volume: 5 ml
  • Analysis time: 15 min/sample

Third party use

The AIRICA is a complex system and can only be used by highly trained personnel. For samples analyses please contact VLIZ.

Use and conditions

Note: if your samples were analyzed by the VLIZ AIRICA, please acknowledge VLIZ in your publications as follows: 'This work was supported by data & infrastructure provided by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)'.