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)
  • PerkinElmer Turbomass Gold MS (EI or CI ionisation modes)
  • 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)
  • IsoPrime 100 GC/C/IRMS(compound specific δ13C value determination)
  • IsoPrime VisION 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 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 value determinations)
  • ThermoFisher Scientific Delta V LC/IRMS (LC IsoLink, dedicated compound specific δ13C value determination)

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

MAT95 XP-Trap

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

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