Teaching within the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment and research within the Geography, Geology and Environment Research Centre is supported by the availability of a wide range of analytical instruments from handheld spectrophotometers and X-ray fluorescence to laboratory-based gas chromatographs, a range of microscopes, particle size analyser, organic elemental analysers and ICP-OES and ICP-MS.

These instruments are routinely used for research purposes at Keele University under funding from NERC, ERDF, Environment Agency, Royal Society of Chemistry, etc.; however, we do offer sample analysis service for outside universities, consultancies and government and non-government organizations.

The Lachat QuickChem 8500 series Flow Injection Analyser (FIA) system is designed for the analysis of nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium in soil/waste extracts or water.

Fully automated with an auto sampler, the throughput is high (~90 sec/sample).

The analysis is colorimetric, where the target species react with selected reagents producing a specific colour. The intensity of the colour produced is proportional to the concentration of the ion of interest.

Contact: Adam Jeffery

The Agilent GC7890A series for greenhouse gas (GHG) analysis is designed for the measurement of ambient atmospheric concentrations of methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide gases.

This GC is custom-designed to first purge out oxygen and then separate methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide through packed columns within a single sample.

Methane is eluted first from the columns and is directed to a flame ionization detector (FID), followed by carbon dioxide, which is directed to a methanizer column and then to FID. The eluted nitrous oxide is directed to an electron capture detector (ECD) for concentration measurement.

The GC is equipped with software for data acquisition and handling.

The Flash2000 series organic elemental analyser at Keele is capable of analysing carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, hydrogen and oxygen in solid media.

Samples weighed into tin capsules are introduced into the flash combustion chamber (~1000 0C) by an auto-sampler. The carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and hydrogen in the samples are combusted to elemental gases, which are then directed to a separation column for elution into a thermal conductivity detector (TCD) for concentration measurement.

The analyser is operated in a pyrolysis mode for oxygen concentration measurments.

Contact: Adam Jeffery

The laser diffraction particle analyser is capable of analysing particle sizes with a resolution of 0.04 µm to 2000 µm.

The analysis is supported by software capable of analysing the data for size (% weight & distribution), among others, with high reproducibility and accuracy.

Contact : Ian Wilshaw

Two Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) machines equipped with Mass Spectrometry and Optical Emission Spectroscopy modules offer an excellent choice for elemental analysis in environmental media including soil, water, wastes, biota, etc. with high precision and accuracy from ppm to ppb and even ppt level detection capabilities.

Atomization of the analyte of interest is undertaken in plasma (6000 to 800 oC) and the resulting emissions are detected by a mass spectrometer (MS module) or optically (OES module).

Contact: Adam Jeffery

Contact: Ian Wilshaw

The NITON XL3 Analyzer is a single unit, hand held, high performance portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) elemental analyzer.

Further Information, including booking of the XRF can be found here.

The TM3000 is a true desk-top SEM capable of magnifying up to 30,000X. It has the advantage of being capable of viewing un-coated specimens - though that can limit the magnification.

In addition it also has a Bruker EDX analytical system attached thus enabling whole area analysis, spot analysis, line profiles and image-mapping.

Further information, including booking instructions can be found here.

Horiba Scientific Aqualog-UV-800-C for florescence analysis in water samples

Contact: Eleanor Fogwill

Las Gatos Research Liquid Water Isotope Analyzer 24d for High precision water isotopes analysis

Contact: Eleanor Fogwill

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*Accreditation is dependent on the degree route and modules taken