Organic Geochemistry facilities

Organic Geochemistry facilities

The Organic Geochemistry lab is dedicated to trace hydrocarbon analysis, and is a shared facility at Macquarie University run by the Organic Geochemistry group.

Laboratory and Instruments

The Organic Geochemistry lab was commissioned in June 2007. It is in rooms 340 and 344, Level 3 of 14 Sir Christopher Ondaatje Avenue (building E7B), and is divided into a wet chemistry lab with four fume cupboards and an instrument lab (total floor space 72m2). It is adjacent to the 2nd and 3rd year chemistry teaching labs.

Major instrumentation includes:

  1. Accelerated Solvent Extractor (ASE300) for solvent extraction of sediments, rocks, biological samples and environmental samples.
  2. Benchtop gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS): Agilent GC (6890N) coupled to an Agilent Mass Selective Detector (5975B). Programmable Temperature Vaporization (PTV) inlet and flame ionisation detector. This is one of the work-horse instruments of the laboratory and is used for a wide variety of projects.
  3. Agilent purge and trap GC-MS inlet, interfaced to the Agilent benchtop GC-MS, for analysis of hydrocarbons dissolved in water-phase compounds.
  4. Microscale sealed vessel pyrolysis (MSSV) system, including temperature programme tube furnace and interface system on the Agilent benchtop GC-MS. This is used for compositional oil generation kinetics, asphaltene pyrolysis to reconstruct biodegraded oil signatures, fluid inclusion oil analysis, and the characterisation of micro-drilled sedimentary layers or fossils.
  5. Pegasus 4D GCxGC-MS system, with Agilent 6890N GC, split-splitless injector and flame ionisation detector.
  6. CDS Pyroprobe 6150 interfaced to the Pegasus 4D GCxGC-MS system, for Curie Point pyrolysis of kerogen and macromolecular organic matter.
  7. Beuhler Isomet 4000 linear precision rock saw for fine cuts and slice experiments on rocks.
  8. Hermle centrifuge.
  9. Julabo chiller interfaced to a Buchii R-210 rotary evaporator.
  10. Millipore Direct-Q UV system for production of ultrapure water.
  11. Liquid chromatography-MS system, composed of a 1260 Infinity LC and fraction collector interfaced to a 6120 Quadrupole MS.
  12. Multifunction orbital shaker, benchmark bench mixer and low temperature incubator for Australian Antarctic Division projects.

Ancillary equipment in the lab include Binder drying ovens, solvent bins, lab fridge and freezers, a high temperature furnace, wash-up facilities, analytical 5 figure balance (AND), and facilities for heating, cleaning and separation of oils and rock extracts.

Additionally, we are in the process (2018-2019) of building a novel instrument funding by ARC Lief, a Femtosecond laser micropyrolysis gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer. The laser (Carbide-4W, Lastek) and TQ8050 Triple Quad Mass Spectrometer System (Shimadzu) are operational, and at present we are working on the interface. Eventually this instrument will be located in the new instrument lab in the renovated basement of 11 Wally's Walk (E5A).

The facilities in the organic geochemistry laboratory were purchased from ARC Lief grants, Australian Antarctic Division projects, and several Macquarie University RIBG grants, as well as initially from a generous start-up package awarded to Professor Simon George.

This lab is a shared facility at Macquarie University, dedicated to trace hydrocarbon analysis. Collaborators at Macquarie University include the Palaeobiology group in Biological Sciences, the Department of Environmental Sciences, and the Department of Molecular Sciences. We have many collaborators in other groups in Australia and elsewhere. Through agreement with CSIRO, Simon George and his group continue to collaborate with the nearby CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering scientists on Delhi Rd, North Ryde, where we have access to more instruments, including a Thermo Scientific Trace GC Ultra interfaced to a DFS high resolution mass spectrometer.

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