School of GeoSciences

Organic Geochemistry

The Organic Geochemistry facility houses wide-ranging analytical capabilities for extraction, separation, identification and quantification of a wide range of natural and contaminant organic chemicals, in addition to carbon and nitrogen elemental and stable isotopic analyses.

Methods are established for the following analytes:

  • Trace-level Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) and Nitrogen (TDN) with Shimadzu TOC-V Analyser
  • Contaminant hydrocarbons, including Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH), Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and Diesel Range Organics (DRO) (GC, GC-MS)
  • Lipid biomarkers (GC, GC-MS)
  • Amino acids (HPLC or GC-MS)
  • D/L amino acid ratios (HPLC)
  • Total carbohydrates (colourimetric)
  • Carbohydrate monomers (GC, GC-MS)
  • Lignin phenols (GC, GC-MS)
  • Dissolved gases (GC-TCD)

 

A further major activity of the facility is undertaking method development to meet user demands.

Due to the substantial method development activity and the generally complex nature of the analyses conducted, often involving multi-stage processes, running the facility is staff-intensive and normally no more than two instruments/methods are being conducted at any one time.

In addition to the main instruments in the facility there is supporting equipment (e.g. fume cupboards, microbalance, freeze drier, autoclave, muffle furnace, low temperature freezer, refrigerated centrifuges, organic-clean ultrapure water, Soxhlet extraction equipment, ultrasonic equipment, centrifugal and rotary evaporation systems).