School of Environment

Environmental Chemistry


Our Environmental Chemistry laboratories conduct chemical preparation and analysis primarily in support of our research programs studying freshwater and ecosystem ecology, carbon and nutrient cycling, and watershed biogeochemistry.

LECO Carbon-Nitrogen-Sulphur Elemental Analyser

Analytical and Preparation Facilities



Lachat QuickChem 8500 Flow Injection Analyser

Lachat QuickChem 8500 Flow Injection Analyser (FIA)

Our lab uses the FIA for measurement of nutrient concentrations (N, P) in water samples from streams, lakes and marine systems. This is an automated system for analysis of clear liquid samples and extracted soil samples. The modular set up allows for testing of numerous analytes. This unit is currently set up to analyse for Nitrogen (Total and Nitrate/Nitrite), Phosphorous (Total and Dissolved), Ammonia, and Chloride. Ideal sample volumes are 50ml and may need to be prefiltered.



Dionex ICS-2000 Ion Chromatograph

Dionex ICS-2000 Ion Chromatograph (IC)

Our IC is used for water chemistry analysis of major cations and anions in water samples from streams, lakes and marine systems. We are currently set up for major anions, such as fluoride, chloride, nitrate, nitrite, and sulphate. Samples will neeed to be prefiltered and saline samples will require dilution. This IC has an autosampler which will take over 60 samples each run (NB: average analysis time is 12 mins per sample).



GBC Avanta Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometer

GBC Avanta Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS)

The AAS can test for a wide range of elements but is mostly used here for the measurement of metals (Cu, Pb, Zn) and major elements (Ca, Mg, Na) in water samples from streams, lakes and marine systems. Sample preparation is important and quite specific to the elements being tested - please consult the technician in charge to discuss your options.



LECO CNS Elemental Analyser

LECO CNS Elemental Analyser

The LECO analyses carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur in environmental samples such as soil, aquatic sediments, vegetation and other biologicals. The method combusts dry powderised samples usually less than 1 gram.



GBC Cintra 2020 UV-Vis Spectrometer

GBC Cintra 2020 UV-Vis Spectrometer

UV-Vis is a standard instrument in most environmental labs and used to provide quick and convenient testing of basic water chemistry. We use this instrument mostly in the analysis of chlorophyll and phosophorus in aquatic systems. The 1cm and 5cm cuvettes allow for samples between 5 and 20ml. Better results are obtained from filtered samples.



Field meters

  • YSI Pro ODO optical dissolved oxygen meters
  • YSI Pro Plus field pH and conductivity meter
  • Hach 2100P turbidimeter
  • Hach DR2010 Spectrophotometer



Supporting infrastructure

  • 2 fumehoods
  • Berghof MWS2 Microwave Digestor
  • Dionex ASE 200 Accelerated Solvent Extractor
  • ELGA Ultrapure water system
  • Eppendorf Centrifuges
  • Hach sensION benchtop pH meter
  • EDT Conductivity meters

Key staff

Technician in Charge

Lab Managers