The Melbourne TrACEES Platform provides high quality analysis in relation to surface, chemicals, trace elements and speciation analysis and associated structural study services. The Platform consolidates substantial instrumentation and cross multidisciplinary expertise, supporting researches in areas of chemical, materials, environmental and life sciences. The Platform facilitates coordinated access to three nodes within the University of Melbourne:
The Chemistry node specialises in analysis for chemicals, surfaces and crystals with various chromatography, mass spectrometry, X-ray and spectrophotometry methods, as well as chemical titration and reactions.
The Geo node specialise in structural and morphological studies of geological and biological materials e.g. minerals, fish bones, etc using CT scanner, microprobe and electron microscope.
The Soil node specialises in soil tests and has an extensive research knowledge and expertise in every aspect of soil studies from its physical to chemical properties through isotope ratio, greenhouse gases.

chem photo 1
Non-stick coating

TrACEES’ Chemistry node, located within the School of Chemistry, was developed from a joint initiative of Faculty of Science and School of Chemistry, The Surface and Chemical Analysis Network (SCAN). As a successful pilot program and experience acquired from the steadily grown centre, TrACEES Chemistry node determines to support research, innovation, teaching and learning with highest standards, expertise and streamlined services. Furthermore, over the past 3 years our staff members have achieved significant success in engaging industry and acting as an interface for external companies wishing to access academic expertise and capabilities (including cutting edge instrumentation).

Chemistry node specialises in:
• Surface chemistry and analysis using X‐ray photoelectron spectrometry and contact angle goniometer.
• Trace chemical analysis and speciation using gas chromatography – mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry, ion chromatography, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, and atomic fluorescence spectrometry
• Structural chemical analysis utilising single crystal X‐ray diffraction and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy).

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The GE Phoenix Nanotom M uses x-rays to produce three dimensional visualisation of the internal structure of objects ranging in size from a speck of sand to the root structure of a plant. Figure 1 shows a grayscale rendering of the minerals (gray grains) and pore spaces (black patches) of a sandstone. Figure 2 shows a smaller region of interest within this sandstone structure rendering the volume of interconnected pore space as determined with the software Avizo Fire. The Xlab module of Avizo Fire is further used to simulate fluid flow through the interconnected pore space (Figure 3) and calculate the permeability for the region of interest within the sandstone sample.

More information is coming…

soil photo 1
Isotopic Ratio Mass Spectrometer

TrACEES’ Soil node, located at Burnley campus, developed from the Soil Science Group in Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Science (FVAS). With a long history and strong track records in soil and environmental research, the node has developed an extensive knowledge and expertise in every aspect of soil studies, particularly in soil nitrogen chemistry, water and nutrient dynamics, greenhouse gases (nitrous oxide and methane) emissions and agricultural pollution (nitrate leaching to ground water). Node academic champions are internationally recognized researchers in the mitigation and reduction of greenhouse (methane, nitrous oxide) gases emissions through the targeted and precise use of fertilisers and the use of denitrification inhibitors in several primary industries (dairy, farming and agriculture).

Soil node specialises in:
• Isotope ratio analysis of gases and liquids using Isotope ratio mass spectrometry
• Elemental, gas and nutrient analysis based on inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, gas chromatography and nutrient analysis.