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Southern Cross GeoScience

Facilities

Analytical Equipment

Atomic Absorption Spectrometer with Vapour Generation System
The Varian AA280FS atomic absorbance spectrophotometer is used for the analysis of metal ions in aqueous solution, with the ability to analyse solutions of a wide range of concentrations. When used in combination with the hydride generation unit, trace levels of important heavy metals of environmental significance can be accurately and quickly quantified. Ions. Currently, the instrument has lamps for Cu, Cr, Co, Fe, Mn, Ni, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Ag, Cd, Pb, Zn, Ca, Mg, Al, Sb, and As installed.
Autotitrator
The Metrohm Titrando autotitrator used for a variety of titrimetric determinations in the GeoScience labs. Allows for the precise control and measurement of the volume of titrant added to a solution of the analyte of interest. Often used for iodometric titrations.
Bioreactor
The Stedim Biostat-B bioreactoris designed specifically for the cultivation of and culture bacteria and of other microorganisms. In its current configuration this system allows for the independent measurement, monitoring and control of the feed gases, pH, pO2, and temperature in each of its two fermentation vessels. The bioreactor's temperature is thermostatically controlled with a range of 0C to 150C. When used in conjunction with its refrigeration unit, culture temperatures as low as -10C can be maintained, although in this mode the upper limit is reduced to 40C. The system is plumbed to instrument air, CO2, O2, and N2gas lines.
CNS analysers
The CNS analysers are used for the elemental analysis of Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen and Sulphur in a range of organic & inorganic samples.
Electron Spin Resonance Spectrometer
Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy is used by the Geoarchaeology and Archaeometry Research Group (GARG) at GeoScience for the accurate dating of hominid teeth through the quantitation of free radicals in tooth enamel formed by long-exposure to environmental radiation.
Flow Injection Nutrient Analysers
Flow injection analysis, or FIA, is a continuous flow method for rapidly processing samples where the sample can be mixed with reagents and diluted, dialyzed, extracted, incubated or derivatized. FIA allows for high sample throughput, high precision and high accuracy in the analysis of samples.
Fluorescence Spectrophotometer
The Horiba Aqualog Fluorescence spectrophotometer is a powerful tool used for the determination of trace organic compounds in aqueous samples. This instrument is primarily used by GeoScience researchers to determine changes to the types and amounts of dissolved organic compounds in our environment.
High Performance Liquid Chromatograph with Variable Wavelength Detector
High Performance Chromatography is used for the quantification of complex solutions of organic and other non-ionic species by separating individual components based on their chemical and physical properties. At GeoScience, this technique is used primarily for the determination of elemental sulphur.
Ion Chromatograph
The Metrohm ion chromatograph is used for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of ionic species in aqueous samples. Used at GeoScience for the determination of low-molecular weight organic acids, oxalate, sulphate, chloride, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate anions, and fluoride ions.
Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer
This technique is used for the determination of metals and metalloids in a wide range of samples.
Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer
This technique is used for the determination of metals and metalloids in a wide range of samples. ICP-MS has the capacity to perform isotopic analyses.
Large volume anaerobic chambers with O2/H2 analysers
The five anaerobic chambers housed within GeoScience laboratories provide researchers with anoxic environments needed to work with easily-oxidised samples and reagents.
Laser Ablation- Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer
ICP mass spectrometry with laser ablation is used at GeoScience for the elemental and isotopic analysis of archaeological artefacts and other solid samples. It is a relatively non-destructive analytical technique that requires little or no sample preparation. LA-ICP-MS allows for element and isotopic analysis of entire samples enabling the user to map element and/or isotope changes across the surface of a sample. This instrument is also equipped with in-line sample preparation for the pre-concentration of trace metals before analysis.
Laser- Class 4
The Brilliant Eazy Class 4 Laser is used in conjunction with the electron spin resonance spectrometer for studies into the formation and kinetics of free-radicals.
Microwave Digestor
The MARS Express microwave digestor is used as an important step in the sample preparation of hard to dissolve biological, soil, and mineral samples for further analysis.
Mossbauer Spectrometer with Cryostage
Used in GeoScience for the analysis of iron-bearing minerals with gamma radiation. Mossbauer techniques can give very precise information about the chemical, structural, magnetic properties of a material and its immediate environs. The cryostage allows for the analyses of samples at a range of temperatures 77K to ambient.
Muffle Furnace
High temperature furnace used as a sample preparation technique and as a mineralogical tool for the high-temperature transformation of iron minerals.
Multi-modal Spectrophotometer
The Clariostar microplate reader is a high-throughput instrument capable of the fast analysis of up to 96 samples in a single analytical run. This instrument is used by researchers from GeoScience and other laboratories at Southern Cross University for chemical kinetic studies, colorimetric analyses, biological assays, and genomic studies.
OLIS Spectrophotometer
The OLIS Clarity Spectrophotometer is used for the determination of trace amounts of organic and inorganic analytes in a variety of matrices, including turbid samples, solids, and samples containing species or particles that scatter light that cannot be easily analysed using other spectrophotometric methods.
Optical Microscope
The Olympus microscope with 5MP camera is used for the microscopy of minerals and the identification and analysis of phytoliths.
Particle Size Analyser with large volume sample dispersion unit
Mastersizer Hydro 2000MU is used for measuring the particle size of particles from the sub-micron to the millimetre scale and the distribution of different size particles in liquid samples.
Portable UV/Vis spectrophotometers
The Hach portable UV/Visible spectrophotometers are primarily used by GeoScience researchers for the colorimetric determination of iron species, alkalinity, and the sulphide ion. The portable spectrophotometers provide researchers with the capacity to perform accurate quantitation quickly and easily in the lab and field.
Scanning Electron Microscope with Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis
Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) provides detailed high resolution images of a sample. The instrument is coupled with an Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analyser (EDX) that is used to provide elemental identification and quantitative information about a sample.
Scintillation Counter
The 1450 Microbeta Scintillation Counter is used to detect and quantify ionising radiation in samples. Used to assess the uptake of radio-labelled elements and compounds in plant material.
Total Organic Carbon/Gas Chromatograph-Combustion/Elemental Analyser-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer
UV/Vis Spectrophotometer
The Cary 50 UV/Visible spectrophotometer is primarily used by GeoScience researchers for the colorimetric determination of iron species, alkalinity, and the sulfide ion. The UV/Vis spectrophotometric technique is useful for the quantitation of both organic and inorganic species that absorb light in the ultraviolet to near infrared range. It can also be used to collect spectra of unknown compounds to aid in qualitative analyses.
Voltametric analyser
X-Ray Diffractometer
The Bruker Endeavour D4 X-Ray Diffractometer is used for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of mineral powders and other crystalline substances; XRD techniques are also used for the determination of a material's crystallographic properties.
X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer
The XRF Epsilon 3-XL Spectrometer (X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy) provides researchers with a fast and accurate technique for the determination of the elemental composition of samples. Used by GeoScience researchers for the quantitative determination of the elemental composition of mineral powders and soil samples.