My watch list  

Kinetic fractionation

Kinetic fractionation is a process that separates stable isotopes from each other by their mass during unidirectional processes.

One naturally-occurring example of kinetic fractionation is the evaporation of seawater to form clouds. In this instance, isotopically-lighter water molecules (i.e., those with 16O) will evaporate slightly more easily than will the isotopically-heavier water molecules with 18O.

During the course of this process the oxygen isotopes are fractionated: the clouds become enriched with 16O, the seawater becomes enriched in 18O. Thus, rainwater is observed to be isotopically lighter than seawater.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kinetic_fractionation". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE