Equipment and Instrumentation

Sample preparation methods available include a variety of equipment for physical size reduction, plus a variety of chemical methods for preparation of analysis-ready materials. A wide variety of analytical methods are available as listed below. Clicking on the method list will take you to a section of this page where the specific instruments are shown.


Physical Sample Preparation Equipment

A variety of hand-scale equipment is available for powder preparation including mortar and pestle, various screens. Larger equipment includes a Bico Jaw Crusher (pictured below), a Spex Shatter Box (pictured below) and Spex Mixer Mills (not pictured). A Powder Press Unit (and related hardware pictured below) is used for preparation of pressed powder pellets for XRF analysis. .

Bico "Chipmunk" Jaw Crusher and related equipment for crushing samples (rocks) equipment used for samples preparation (crushing) process for analysis.

Bico Jaw Crusher
The Bico "Chipmunk" Jaw Crusher

Crushed Rock
Crushed bulk-rock from the Bico Jaw Crusher

Spex Shatterbox
The Spex shatterbox includes a variety of different grinding containers (hardened steel, tungsten carbide, alumina etc.) in different sizes for use with different types of sample powders.

Pressed Powder Preparation Equipment
Powder press equipment for preparation of pressed powders for XRD analysis

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Chemical Digestion and other Preparation Methods

A full complement of preparation equipment and methods are available including a variety of ovens, reaction/digestion vessels, furnaces, crucibles, etc. for preparation of powders, fused discs, and liquids for analysis. A few items are pictured below.

Fume Hood
Non-corrosive fume hood for safe handling of volatile chemicals.

Parr Acid Digestion Vessel
PAR bomb reaction vessel for acid digestion of rock samples in an oven prior to analysis.

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Ion Chromatography

Ion Chromatography is used for aqueous samples analysis for the determination of anion (F, Cl, NO2, Br, NO3, PO4>, & SO4), some organics (Formate & Acetate, Amino acids, etc.), perchlorates, thiosulfate, etc. Also, can be used for the analysis of speciation such as As3+ and As5+, and Cr3+ and Cr6+. Most elements detection limits are at the µg/L (ppb) level. Our instruments are pictured below.

Dionex Ion Chromatograph
The Dionex DX 500 Ion Chromatograph (IC) Unit

Metrohm Ion Chromatograph
The Metrohm 760 Ion Chromatograph (IC) Unit

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Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES)

ICP-AES is used for the analysis of aqueous and dissolved solids (Extracts and/or digests) for major (cations), minor, and trace elements (metals) and some anions such as phosphorus and sulfur. Capable of determining low (µg/L “ppb”) concentrations with a wide linear range in simultaneous and multi-element analysis technique. Our ICP-AES equipment is pictured below.

Perkin Elmer Optima 3000 ICP-AES
Perkin-Elmer Optima 3000 DV Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometer

Perkin Elmer Optima 5300 ICP-AES
Perkin-Elmer Optima 5300 DV Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometer

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X-Ray Fluoresence Spectroscopy (XRF)

The Rigaku ZSX Primus II wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (pictured below) is used for elemental, oxides, and special applications analysis of solid samples (fused beads, pressed powder, and flat surface materials).

Rigaku ZXS Primus II XRF UnitRigaku ZSX Primus II Wavelength Dispersive XRF Spectrometer

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Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (AA)

The Perkin-Elmer Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (5100) with Hydride Generator is used for the analysis of aqueous and dissolved solids (Extracts and/or digests) for volatile elements such as As, Se, Hg, Sb, Te, Bi, and Sn. The system is capable of determining low (ng/L “ppt”) concentrations.

PE AA Spectrophotometer Perkin-Elmer Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (5100) with Hydride Generator

AA Software Display Perkin-Elmer AA Software Display

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Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES) with Laser Ablation

The Perkin-Elmer Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometers (5300 DV ICP-AES) coupled with the New Wave UP 213 Laser Ablation Instruments are used for the analysis of solid samples such as fused disks and/or pressed powder material (rocks). Laser ablation is used to vaporize small sample areas enabling analysis of difficult solid samples. The sample holder can also accommodate irregular shaped samples. Laser spot size range 4 – 250 microns but can also be expanded to a maximum of 400 microns. The power setting range 10 – 100% with 2 – 20 Hz. Various ablation schemes can be used including mapping the sample.

ICP-AES with Laser AblationPerkin-Elmer ICP-AES with New Wave UP 213 Laser Ablation Unit (on left)

ICP-AES with Laser Ablation (and Computer)Perkin-Elmer ICP-AES with New Wave UP 213 Laser Ablation Unit (center) with control computer shown on left.

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Ultra-Violet Visible Spectrophotometry (UV-VIS)

The HITACHI UV/VIS Spectrophotometer is used for aqueous samples colorimetric determination, such as, ammonium, phosphorus, COD, Fe2+ & Fe3+, Cr6+, and other specific applications.

Hitachi UV-VIS SpectrophotometerHitachi Ultra-Violet Visible (UV-VIS) Spectrophotometer

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