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Gas and inorganic geochemistry facility used for site characterisation, monitoring and verification.


The geochemistry laboratory features a host of brand new, state-of-the-art equipment dedicated to addressing fundamental science questions related to CCS.

It will enable researchers to conduct research on site characterisation and monitoring, in particular establishing baseline data sets for ongoing evaluation. Equipment in this facility can be used for preparing samples, identifying and quantifying elements and compounds, analysing tracers, measuring stable isotopes and calibrating mobile field equipment.

The facility is an all-inclusive and specialised collection of geochemistry equipment co-located at the Australian Resources Research Centre building that makes processing samples more efficient and comprehensive for our clients.

Items in the geochemistry laboratory include both organic, inorganic and isotopic analytical equipment, instruments that can analyse liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons, water, rock and soil samples. Some of this equipment could be deployed on site for monitoring purposes. See below a list of the equipment and capabilities.


Australian Resources Research Centre, Kensington, Perth


Linda Stalker

CCS applications

The geochemical equipment is predominantly used during the site selection and characterisation stages of the research process but also for monitoring and verification as it is used to obtain baseline data as well as ongoing observations.

At a potential CO2 storage site new samples are taken to assess their hydrocarbon potential to determine potential resources in the region and provide baseline data. Ground water and deep formation fluids can be characterised for dissolved mineral species and rock samples can be treated to evaluate their potential reactivity on contact with CO2.

Some of the analytical methods can be used to characterise and evaluate core-flood effluents to be compared with observations in the field for modelling potential reservoir scenarios.

The equipment can also be used to calibrate sensors that are designed to measure CO2, or substances mobilised by CO2, by way of field measurements. Tracer concentrations can be measured by the geochemical equipment as part of the partitioning data acquisition at varying depths, temperature and formation water compositions. It can also be used for breakthrough and recovery tests using the slim-tube experimental set-ups.

Other applications

  • Petroleum geochemistry
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Unconventional hydrocarbons
  • Characterisation of hydrocarbon compounds in fuels and processing

Example Equipment

Thermo Fischer Scientific MAT253 Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer with dual inlet connected to Gasbench II and Flash HT 2000 EA

Dual inlet

  • High precision δ13C and δ18O isotopic measurements of gas samples

GasBench (head-space sampling: water, carbonates)

  • Carbonate δ13C and δ18O isotope analyses
  • Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) δ 13C isotopic analysis
  • Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) δ 13C isotopic analysis
  • Water δ18O isotopic analysis via CO2 equilibration

Flash HT 2000 (carbon reduction/pyrolysis)

  • δ 34S,15N and 13C isotopes in solid and liquid samples
  • Oxygen and hydrogen analysis of organic matter
  • δD and δ18O Isotope ratio analysis of H2O
  • δ18O, isotopes of sulphates and phosphates
  • δ18O and δ15N isotopes from nitrates
  • δD isotopes of phyllosilicates and amphiboles

Thermo Fischer Scientific MAT253 Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer connected to TRACE GC ultra and GC-Isolink

  • Compound specific isotope measurements of liquid and gas samples
  • Differentiation between environmental, reservoir CO2 and injected CO2 in CCS projects based on δ13C
  • δ13C and δ15N of individual organic pollutants correlate with their level of degradation in soil profiles
  • δ13C and δ2H values of light hydrocarbons and CO2 can uncover the history of natural gas accumulations
  • δ13C of and δ2H values of  oils /hydrocarbons /biomarkers/ organic pollutants

3 Picarro G2201-I Cavity Ringdown Spectrometers

  • δ13C and abundance (0-5000ppm)measurement of CO2 and CH4
  • Can be used to detect carbon dioxide and methane vents including the associated carbon isotopic signature.
  • Automate Autosampler and Picarro Liason system for measuring δ13C in Carbonates

Agilent 7700 ICP-MS and Agilent 720 Radial ICP-OES

  • Element/metal analysis in liquid samples or solid digestions in the range from ppt-ppm

Agilent 7700 ICP-MS connected to Photon Machines Analyte-Excite 193nm laser

  • in-situ U-Pb geochronology of zircon and monazite
  • Trace element characterization of minerals and fused rock powders
  • Trace element characterization of fish otoliths & statoliths
  • 2-D trace element mapping of samples
  • High resolution 2-D trace element mapping (M-50)
  • On-line data reduction using  and Iolite 

Elementar Rapid C/S Cube

  • Elemental analysis of C/S in liquid and solid samples

Elementar VARO TOC cube

  • Total Carbon (TC), Total Inorganic Carbon (TIC) and Total Organic Carbon (TOC) in liquid samples

Thermo Fischer Scientific Flash HT 2000

  • Elemental Abundance C/N/S/O/H in solid and liquid samples

Thermo/ Dionex ICS-4000 Ion Chromatograph

Anions in mg/L

Pfeifer Omnistar MS

  • Mass spectrometry of gasses 1-300 amu

2 Thermo Scientific/Global Analyser Solution Refinery Gas Analysers:

  • 1 connected to Thermo Scientific Triplus 300 head space autosampler.
  • The other unit has a septum for syringe injections
  • Fast determination of Hydrocarbon and permanent gasses gas composition of gas and head pace samples
  • Dectection using FID and TCD detectors after splitting and separation of the gas mixtures

Thermo Scientific Trace 1310 –ISQ GC-MS

  • Electron Impact EI Ionisation Source
  • Triplus RSH auto sampler for liquid, head space and SPME injections
  • Teledyne-Tekmar purge and trap autosampler for volatile organic component analysis in liquid and soil samples

Agilent 5975C GC-MS system

  • Electron Impact EI Ionisation Source
  • Identification and quantification of hydrocarbons and gasses

Thermo Scientifc Trace 1310 GC systems

  • GC with TCD and FID detectors
  • For the hydrocarbon and gasses in samples

Additional Equipment:

  • Mettler Tornado Analytical and Micro-balances
  • Metrohm conductivity and alkalinity auto-titrator
  • Metrohm portable pH& Conductivity Meter
  • Ovens
  • Thermo UV-VIS spectrometer
  • Block digester
Australian Government Department of Education CSIRO The University of Western Australia Curtin University Western Australian Energy Research Alliance