Instrumentation and Facilities
A wide range of modern analytical equipment for geochemical studies is available for a varied range of research projects. Our new state-of-the-art ThermoFinnigan Delta-V Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer provide great flexibility in measuring isotope ratios in a wide range of geological and biological samples in liquid, gaseous, and solid forms. In addition the Aqueous Geochemistry Laboratory is equipped with instruments that allow elemental analysis of natural waters, soils, sediments, biological materials, and experimental laboratory solutions.
Stable Isotope Laboratory
Through combined funds from US National Science Foundation (NSF-MRI 0821646) and SIUC a new ThermoFinnigan Delta-V IRMS (Isotope Ratio
Mass Spectrometer) was recently purchased for research now being conducted at SIUC, with wide-ranging applications across diverse disciplines, from paleoclimatology right through to ecosystem dynamics. The new IRMS is equipped with both dual inlet and continuous flow (Conflo IV) specialized inlet systems as well as the units that convert solid and liquid samples into gases (e.g., Gas-Bench II, TC-EA, and EA) and allows the measurement of stable isotope ratios in organic and inorganic solid materials, gases, and liquid samples. The IRMS is currently housed in the Mass Spectrometry Facility [link]
The instrument enables the following efficient analyses:
(1) GasBench II: 18O/16O in water equilibrated with CO2, 8O/16O and 13C/12C of carbonates subjected to acid digestion, 13C/12C of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), 13C/12C of CO2 in air, 15N/14N of N2 in air,
and is extendable to H2-H2O equilibration for D/H, N2-N2O in
air, and post-combustion concentrations of N2 and SO2;
(2) EA:13C/12C and 15N/14N in minerals and organic samples; C/N
ratios in organic samples;
(3) TC-EA: compound specific isotope analysis (CSIA) and determination
of 13C/12C, 18O/16O, and D/H in organic and inorganic samples.
(4) Dual-inlet system: elemental and isotopic analyses of high purity gasses using variable volume bellows that can be adjusted between 3 and 40ml.
Aqueous Geochemistry Laboratory
Hitachi Z-2000 Tandem Type Atomic Absorption
The polarized Zeeman method featuring low noise and high stability is adopted for both flame and graphite furnace. High accuracy analysis is achievable with no need for moving the sample compartment or adjusting the optical system.
The main applications include the analysis of major cations (e.g., Ca, Mg, Na) and metals (e.g., Fe, As, Cu, Ni, Al and Zn) in water samples.
The Aqueous Geochemistry Laboratory contains auxiliary equipment employed in the preparation of geological and biological samples and wet geochemical research.
Field work: the lab is equipped with pH/ORP/EC/DO meters and electrodes, van Dorn water sampler, Hach Alkalinity digital titration kit..
Aqueous geochemistry: the lab is equipped with fume hoods, vacuum pumps, water baths, magnetic stirrers / hot plates, centrifuges, low- and high-temperature ovens, Eppendorf® pipettes, ultrasonic bath, and data logging systems.
Stable isotopes: the lab is equipped with sample preparation devices for extracting and purifying samples for stable isotope analysis, Millipore® ultra-pure deionizing water system, optical microscopes, and Mettler Toledo® MX5 Microbalance. The lab is also equipped with multiple extraction lines for wet chemical extraction and quantification of different sulfur fractions in soils, sediments, and coals.