Facilities available to the OGU

The OGU hosts the NERC Life Sciences Mass Spectrometry Facility (Bristol node), a national facility that exists to provide an organic and stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry service to the UK life sciences community.

The group operates three chemical laboratories each specifically designed with biogeochemical research in mind, from initial sample handling and preparation, through extraction and pre-fractionation of analytes to subsequent instrument analysis. Facilities include temperature-controlled and clean rooms, a range of modern analytical laboratory equipment and the usual data processing and desktop publishing capabilities.

Gas chromatography, is used extensively by our group for the separation of complex mixtures of volatile compounds. We currently operate around ten gas chromatographs (GC-FID), which we use with a range of capillary columns to routinely characterise different samples. In addition, we have a preparative GC, enabling the automated isolation of individual components of mixtures; this is particularly useful for isolating compounds for compound specific radiocarbon dating. For less volatile compounds, we utilise high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-DAD).

Further characterisation of samples is carried out using various hyphenated techniques, i.e. chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Instruments currently owned and operated by the OGU include:

  • ThermoQuest Trace MS (EI or CI ionisation modes)
  • ThermoQuest Trace MS (EI ionisation mode only)
  • PerkinElmer Turbomass Gold MS (coupled with a CDS A2500 pyrolysis unit)
  • ThermoElectron Mat95 XP-Trap MS (GC with EI or CI+/- ionisation modes and HPLC with APCI or ESI)
  • ThermoFisher Scientific Accela Quantum Access triplequadrupole MS (HPLC or UPLC with APCI or ESI)
  • Finnigan MAT Delta S GC/C/IRMS(compound specific δ13C value determination)
  • ThermoQuest DeltaPlusXLGC/C/IRMS (compound specific δ13C value determination)
  • ThermoFinnigan Delta XP GC/C/IRMS (compound specific δ13C and δ15N value determination)
  • ThermoFinnigan Delta XP EA/IRMS (δ13C analysis of methane and other VOCs, bulk δ13C and δ15N value determinations)
  • ThermoFisher Scientific Delta V GC/C/IRMS (GC IsoLink, dedicated compound specific δD and δ13C value determinations)
  • ThermoFisher Scientific Delta V LC/IRMS (LC IsoLink, dedicated compound specific δ13C value determination)

The OGU also has access to the School of Chemistry Mass Spectrometry Service that hosts the following equipment:

  • VG AutoSpec triple sector EBE MS
  • ABI 4700 MALDI TOF/TOF MS/MS
  • ABI QStar qTOF MS/MS (with nanospray interface)
  • Bruker 7T FTICR MS
  • Micromass Quattro LC triplequadrpole MS
  • Bruker Esquire 3000plus ion trap

The group also has access to an extensive range of facilities and resources maintained by the School of Chemistry.

 

Images of analytical instruments

MAT95 XP-Trap

The ThermoElectron MAT95 XP-Trap is a high resolution, double focusing hybrid mass spectrometer.