ITC state-of-the-art research facility now providing contract analytical services
The state of the art laboratory equipment in the International Test Center for CO2 capture is now available for contract analytical services. The ITC is considered by many to be the best research and analytical facility in North America because of the equipment diversity. The facilities are currently utilized to support ITC research concerning greenhouse gas capture and hydrogen production. Requests for analytical services are invited from individuals, ambulance Universities, stuff research groups, decease and industry. Potential clients are also welcome to visit the ITC for tours and demonstrations. The analytical capabilities of the ITC are summarized below. For inquiries, requests for analysis and other opportunities, please contact Lauren Drake (306-337-2468) or Dr. Raphael Idem (306-585-4470).
XRD (X-Ray Diffractometer)
The XRD permits non-destructive identification of minerals and crystalline materials. It is commonly utilized for phase analysis, thin film characterization, and measurement of crystallinity, texture, residual stress, corrosion, and morphology. ITC applications include characterization of catalysts, membranes and packing materials, as well as for corrosion studies.
SEM-EDS (Scanning Electron Microscope – Energy Dispersive Spectrometer)
The scanning electron microscope provides imaging capabilities, while the EDS detector performs elemental mapping of the microscope images. Among the special features is the ability to characterize elemental distribution as a function of pore/grain size. ITC applications include studies of corrosion mechanisms, catalysts &amp;amp;amp;amp; membrane characterization; however, the system can be utilized for any application requiring images or elemental characterization of microstructures. The SEM-EDS laboratory is also equipped with the most advanced sample preparation devices, including a gold/palladium sputter coater, vacuum impregnation system, precision saws, hot and cold mounting equipment, and automated grinders and polishers.
NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) coupled with HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography)
The 500-MHz NMR determines molecular structure of most organic and some inorganic molecules. The system configuration in place at the ITC is highly unique, in that it provides analysis of both solids and liquids. The NMR also has a rare coupling to a high performance liquid chromatograph (LC), which permits separation of complex liquid mixtures prior to analysis. The VT (variable temperature) accessory allows study of structural changes or degradation of solids or liquids as a function of temperature. This is the ideal technology for chemical, petroleum &amp;amp;amp;amp; pharmaceutical industries for studying reaction mechanisms, degradation products, proteins, drug metabolites, etc.
Surface Area/ Porosity/ Chemisorption Analyzer
This equipment determines pore size distributions, pore structure &amp;amp;amp;amp; surface area in powdered or bulk samples, and is applicable to pore sizes in the range of 0.003 to 360 microns. Commonly used in geology (water retention in soil), resins, textiles, ceramics pharmaceuticals, catalysts and fuel cell studies, it is critical at the ITC for characterization of catalysts involved in the production of hydrogen. This equipment is also used for active metal surface area, crystallite size and dispersion for catalysts.
Chemical Mixtures: Separation &amp;amp;amp;amp; Identification
The ITC laboratories are equipped with several Agilent instruments which provide chromatographic separation of liquid or gas mixtures. Each of the instruments below is equipped with a Mass Spectrometer (MS), which identifies the chemical composition of the separated components.
GC-MS (Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometer)
Separation and identification of components within VOLATILE liquids and gases, utilized within the ITC for analysis of decomposition products, gases and reaction intermediates in industrial processes.
CE-MS (Capillary Electrophoresis – Mass Spectrometer)
Separation and identification of components within polar IONIC liquids, such as inorganic metal ions, anions, CO2 scrubbing solvents, and simple organic acids.
HPLC-MS (High Performance Liquid Chromatography – Mass Spectrometer)
Separation and identification of mixtures of NON-IONIC, non-polar liquids, such as hydrocarbons.
The ITC laboratories are equipped with several additional GC’s, each with a different type of detector. Overall, this permits separation and identification of nearly any type of volatile organic liquid or gas.
TGA-DSC (Thermo Gravimetric Analyzer – Differential Scanning Calorimeter)
The DSC monitors heat flow in and out of a sample, while the TGA measures the accompanying weight loss as the sample goes through a temperature programmed process. The TGA-DSC is typically coupled to the FTIR or GC for analysis of gaseous decomposition products evolving from sample. Coupling of these techniques permits fundamental studies of thermal properties – oxidative stability, thermal degradation, specific heat, and reaction kinetics.
FTIR (Fourier Transform Infra-Red) Spectrometer
The FTIR is used for identification and quantitation of organic species and some inorganic species, in solids, liquids, gases and thin films. This particular FTIR is capable of analyses over the entire infrared spectrum, and is typically used in conjunction with NMR for elucidation of molecular structure. This FTIR is equipped with a unique ATR (attenuated total reflectance) accessory, which allows studies of chemical decomposition under conditions of varying pressure and temperature.
ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometer)
The Varian ICP-MS determines elemental composition of digestible solids and liquids, including the valency of metals. This instrument is highly versatile, as it performs analysis of trace elements in materials, metals, rocks, minerals, and catalyst at the part per million to part per billion level.