MESL Facilities Organic Laboratories
MESL is equipped with 5 laboratories for organic analysis. Separate laboratories are used for sample preparation and instrumental analysis.
- Organic contaminants analysis
- Lipid biomarkers analysis
- Petroleum hydrocarbons
- total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH)
- individual aliphatic hydrocarbons
- individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
- Chlorinated pesticides
- DDT and its breakdown products (DDE and DDD)
- other pesticides banned by the Stockholm Convention
- Organohalogen compounds
- polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
- Other organic compounds, such as organophosphorus pesticides, antifouling compounds and faecal sterols.
- aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons
- ketones, e.g., long-chain alkenones
- sterol and fatty alcohol compounds
- fatty acids.
- Isolation of neutral and acidic lipid biomarker classes for compound-specific-carbon isotope analysis by means of solvent extraction and normal-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. J. Chromatogaphy. A, 1045, 71-84, (2004).
- Flame Ionisation Detector (FID) for hydrocarbons, sterols and fatty acids.
- Electron Capture Detector (ECD) for halogenated compounds
- Nitrogen - Phosphorus Detector (NPD) for nitrogen and phosphorus compounds
- Flame Photometric Detector (FPD) for organotins
- source apportionment assessments
- investigations of carbon cycling and behaviour
- reconstructing the environmental and climatic conditions from the sedimentary record as an indicator of global change
Organic contaminants analysis
Many organic contaminants in marine samples are analysed at MESL. The list includes:
Sample Preparation for organics contaminants
Sediment and biota samples are solvent extracted using a microwave extraction system (CEM MARSX). Isolation of organic contaminants is performed on column chromatography, such as silica-gel, alumina and Florisil. The isolated compound classes are analysed by Gas Chromatography.
Lipid biomarkers analysis
The list of lipid biomarkers analysed at MESL includes:
Sample Preparation for lipid biomarkers
Samples are solvent extracted using a microwave extraction system (CEM MARSX) or alternatively sonicated and shaked. Neutral and acidic lipid biomarkers are isolated by solvent extraction of the saponified extract and normal-phase HPLC is used to separate the different classes of neutral compounds. Final determination is accomplished by Gas Chromatography
Gas Chromatography (GC)
The organic sample extracts are analyzed by gas chromatography. MESL is equipped with several GCs.
The GCs are set up for particular analyses, optimised with respect to the column used and the detector type. The various detectors include:
Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
A Mass Spectrometer as detector for a Gas Chromatograph produces a powerful analytical tool with multiple applications. The instrument can be used for the analysis of complex mixtures of compounds with similar properties, notably PAHs and PBDEs. Also, the GC-MS enables compound verification / validation of measurements made by other GC procedures.
Gas Chromatography - Combustion - Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS)
MESL has access to Gas Chromatography-Combustion-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS). This instrument is used to measure the d 13C in individual organic components. Potential applications include: