Equipment and Facilities

The EEGL is a PC1 (Physical Containment Level 1) laboratory that is set up for work on mineral behaviour, geomicrobiology and aqueous geochemistry.

The EEGL maintains a suite of equipment for use in the laboratory, the field, and at synchrotron light sources. Some of the larger and fairly unique items of equipment are described below as are some more standard laboratory essentials. Our facility is well equipped for laboratory-based experiments under controlled environmental conditions. We also maintain a range of field equipment for sedimentology, water sampling and analysis in both mining environments and natural landscapes.

We are fortunate to have access to world class analytical facilities at the University of Alberta, including those in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, nanoFAB, Natural Resources Analytical Facility and Biogeochemistry Analytical Service Laboratory. The University of Alberta is located within a ~5 hour drive of the Canadian Light Source in Saskatoon.

Two InstruQuest HumiSys programmable relative humidity generators: (1) HumiSys HF (high flow generator, 5 L/min) and (2) HumiSys LF (low flow generator, 0.5 L/min). The high flow unit is ideal for use with an environmental stages on a laboratory powder X-ray diffractometer (XRD). The low flow generator works very well in synchrotron powder XRD capillary flow-through experiments.

InXitu Terra Portable XRD/XRF (“Terry”). This is a field portable powder X-ray diffractometer and X-ray fluorescence analyser. Terry is a seasoned field instrument as well as a Qantas and Jetstar frequent flyer.

Los Gatos Research Carbon Dioxide Isotope Analyzer (CCIA-36-EP). This instrument provides simultaneous measurement of δ13C and δ18O of CO2 gas either continuously or from discrete samples of gas and carbonate minerals.

Coy anaerobic chamber with two work stations. This chamber allows work to be done with redox sensitive compounds under anoxic conditions.

A bank of incubators that are used for cultivation work, mineral–microbe interaction experiments and mineral behaviour experiments under non-ambient temperatures. Some of our many desiccators and vacuum chambers can be seen in the windowsill.

Full-sized fume hoods equipped with compressed air, natural gas, nitrogen and vacuum lines, with under bench storage for flammables and acids. These are located in a second room attached to the main room of our laboratory to minimize noise exposure. We also have natural gas plumbed to bench top in the main room of our laboratory.

An in-lab autoclave for routine sterilization of equipment and media (far right). A number of standard refrigerators and one –20 °C freezer can also be found in the laboratory.

We share a giant liquid nitrogen dry shipper (shown here) and a smaller airplane-friendly dry shipper with another lab in EAS.

A McCrone Micronizing Mill, which is a specialized mill used for preparation of samples for quantitative powder X-ray diffraction work.

A bank of bench top centrifuges (x1) and microcentrifuges (x2). This includes Fieldie II (far right) who accompanies us on road trips in the Rocky Mountains.

We have a number of other laboratory staples including, but not limited to: a shaker table (seen above), microwave, hotplate stirrers, a 4-channel programmable peristaltic pump, a portable UV-VIS spectrometer, a field-portable pH-ISE-EC-T meter.