Development of Hydrocarbon Gas Standards for Stable Isotopic Composition (δ13C and δ2H)

Scientific Investigations Report 2021-5136
By:  and 



A suite of gas standards was developed to serve as international secondary reference materials (RMs) for the determination of the compound-specific carbon-13/carbon-12 (δ13C) and hydrogen-2/hydrogen-1 (δ2H) values of hydrocarbon gases. This report provides background information on the project, the methods used to produce and analyze the gases, as well as the data analysis and recommended stable isotopic values. Additionally, samples of older hydrocarbon gas RMs no longer available were analyzed along with the new RMs to allow for traceability to historical data. These secondary RMs are intended for interlaboratory standardization and traceability to primary RMs. The gaseous RMs are currently (at time of publication) available for purchase from the U.S. Geological Survey Energy Resources Program.

Suggested Citation

Ellis, G.S., and Dias, R.F., 2022, Development of hydrocarbon gas reference materials for stable isotopic composition (δ13C and δ2H): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2021–5136, 22 p.,

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Stable Isotopic Data Used to Determine Recommended Values
  • Appendix 2. Additional Data
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Development of hydrocarbon gas standards for stable isotopic composition (δ13C and δ2H)
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2021-5136
DOI 10.3133/sir20215136
Year Published 2022
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston VA
Contributing office(s) Central Energy Resources Science Center
Description Report: vii, 22 p.; Data Release
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details