Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer

GCMS (Chemistry node)

Agilent GC(6890) MS(5973N)

Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) is an analytical technique that combines the separation properties of gas chromatography with the detection feature of mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample. GC is used to separate the volatile and thermally stable organic compounds in a sample whereas MS fragments the analyte and identifies it by matching the mass of breakdown products through a mass spectrometry compound database. Quantification of known compounds is then performed using a calibration curve using various concentrations of standards.

Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrophotometer

ICPAES (Chemistry & Soil nodes)

Perkin Elmer Optima dv8300 & dv4300

Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrophotometer (ICPOES) is a solution based technique whereby samples are prepared and introduced in liquid forms (aqueous or organic solvent) for analysis. With utilization of argon a plasma, having a temperature as high as 8000°C is capable to thermally excite nearly all elements which then emit light (photons) at their characteristic wavelengths. The respective light emission are collected at two view modes (axial and radial) by the spectrophotometer and subsequently resolved into a spectrum. By measuring the intensity of the emitted light from a series of prepared solutions of elements the concentration of particular element(s) can be derived from a calibration curve.

MicroCT Scanner

MicroCT (Geo node)

Nanotom MicroCT

A CT scan, also called X-ray computed tomography (X-ray CT) or computerized axial tomography scan (CAT scan), makes use of computer-processed combinations of many X-ray images taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional (tomographic) images (virtual ‘slices’) of specific areas of a scanned object, allowing the user to see inside the object without cutting. A MicroCT scanner is specifically designed to study small objects (centimeter scale) Examples of objects, which can be analysed by this technique to form 3 dimensional images are: small skeletons, plant root distribution in soil and many other geological and biological samples.

Environment Scanning Electron Microscope

ESEM (Geo node)

Environment Scanning Electron Microscope

The environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) is a scanning electron microscope, which permits wet and insulating samples to be imaged without prior specimen preparation. A low pressure (up to around 10 torr) of a gas can be accommodated around the sample; hence, hydrated samples can be maintained in their native state. It works because whether the gas is water or some other gas, ions formed on collisions between electrons emitted from the sample and the gaseous molecules drift back towards the sample surface helping to reduce charge build up. This eliminates the need for insulators to be subjected to a conductive surface coating. These two key advantages of ESEM open up a wide range of materials to the power of scanning electron microscopy.

Electron microprobe analyser

EMPA (Geo node)

Joel JXA-8530F

The state-of-the-art electron microprobe analyser is fully configured with five wavelength dispersive spectrometers (WDS) able to analyse all elements from Boron to Uranium with detection limits below 100 parts per millions (ppm). In addition to the WDS channels, it has an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) which can independently analyse the same range of elements at a detection limit of less than 2000 ppm. In a combined mode, major elements on EDS and trace elements on WDS, scan time can be reduced substantially. The instrument has a unique mapping capability which produces remarkably high quality X-ray elemental distributions relatively quickly. These elemental maps are ideal for showing zoning or exsolution in minerals and metals. The instrument has the latest electron gun configuration – an in-lens field emission with an extremely small, high brightness source. Using low accelerating voltages (5-7kV) results in an extremely small spot size enabling the instrument to analyse submicron areas with ease.

Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer

IRMS (Soil node)

Thermo Fisher deltaV Flash2000

Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) is a specialization of mass spectrometry, in which mass spectrometric methods are used to measure the relative abundance of isotopes in a given sample.
This technique has two different applications in the earth and environmental sciences. The analysis of ‘stable isotopes’ is normally concerned with measuring isotopic variations arising from mass-dependent isotopic fractionation in natural systems. On the other hand, radiogenic isotope analysis involves measuring the abundances of decay-products of natural radioactivity, and is used in most long-lived radiometric dating methods.
The deltaV IRMS is funded through a successful application to Research Initiatives Fund (RIF) Collaborative Equipment Grant.

Total Carbon Nitrogen analyser

LecoCN (Soil node)

Leco TruMac

LecoCN is an elemental analyser to measure the total content of carbon and nitrogen in a sample. It easily handles characteristically heterogeneous and low-level C & N. Macro sample sizes (up to 3 grams for TruMac
nitrogen; up to 1.5 grams for carbon/nitrogen) are quickly and simultaneously analyzed with a low cost-per-analysis. A unique ceramic horizontal furnace, combined with carbon/nitrogen determinator, makes it ideal for a variety of applications including soils, feeds, meats, starches, even some slurries or wastewater samples. In addition, the TruMac complies AOAC, AACC, AOCS and ASBC approved methods of analysis.

Segmented Flow Analyser

SFA (Soil node)

Skalar San+

Segmented Flow Analysis (SFA), aka. Continuous Flow Analysis (CFA) technique, up to 16 analytical measurements can be made on a single sample simultaneously. The Skalar, offers over 300 proven applications utilizing various combinations of automatic dilutions, additions, mixing, heating, dialysis, extractions, distillation, digestion, phase-separation, hydrolysis, ion-exchange/reduction and more. The Skalar San+ Analyzer is a “workhorse” for many routine laboratories; analyzing waters, soils, fertilizer, detergents, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages such as beer, wine, milk, etc. Skalar methods meet standard methodology whenever possible, such as EPA, ASTM, ISO, AOAC, Standard Methods, EBC, Coresta, etc.

Gas Chromatography for Greenhouse Gases

GC (Soil node)

Agilent 7890A GC

Simultaneous analysis of greenhouse gases by gas chromatography (for CH4, CO2 and N2O in gas samples).
An Agilent 7890A GC system is configured with a single channel using two detectors (flame ionization detector (FID) and micro-electron capture detector) for the analysis of CO2, CH4, and N2O in air samples. Low concentrations of CO2 can be analyzed by a methanizer with an FID. Results from various methods demonstrated high sensitivity and excellent repeatability for the required analyses.