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Varian 240 AAS

The Varian 240 Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) allows for the analysis of a number of different chemical elements from a multitude of samples through its autosampler and  various lamps.  A liquid sample is directed into the flame and burns. Light energy of specific wavelengths is directed at the flame and any absorbance of this energy relates directly to the concentration of specific elements present in the sample.

Thermo Scientific Trace GC Ultra

A Gas Chromatograph (GC) instrument is able to analyse the various volatile chemicals present in a variety of different samples. This GC is equipped with both a flame ionization detector (FID) and an electron capture detector (ECD). A liquid or headspace sample is injected, the volatile components move through the GC column at different rates, and the resulting detector signal can indicate the identity and amount of any chemicals present in the sample.  

Shimadzu TOC-V with TN

This instrument determines both the total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN) in water samples.  These parameters are non-specific indicators of water quality.  The Shimadzu TOC-V instrument uses a combustion catalytic oxidation method to oxidize all dissolved organic carbon compounds to carbon dioxide, which is then detected using a non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) detector.  Our instrument also has a total nitrogen unit which decomposes nitrogen-containing compounds to nitrogen monoxide, which is then detected using a chemiluminescence detector.



A Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) instrument can reveal the detailed molecular structure of compounds by the absorption and re-emission of radiowave energy by atoms in molecules placed in a strong magnetic field. The NMR can also be used to analyze different metabolites in biofluids, screen for drugs, and study intricate protein folding. NMR is often used in undergraduate synthetic labs to confirm the identity of the products of chemical synthesis reactions.

Agilent GC-MS (located at BCIT)

​A Gas Chromatograph (GC) instrument is able to analyse the various volatile chemicals present in a variety of different samples. This GC is equipped with a mass spectrometry (MS) detector and a combiPAL autosampler allowing both liquid and headspace injections. Once the compounds in a sample are separated through the column and reach the detector at different times, each compound be fragmented in a specific manner, separated by their mass/charge (m/z) ratio, and plotted in a spectrum of abundance (counts) versus m/z. The mass spectra can then be compared to a library of other spectra for compound identification.  


“Very easy and fun. Interesting to see the flame and instrument picking up samples and to work with online remote technology.”

First year student, Thompson Rivers University

“It was an interesting experience. Using the AAS was a good change from regular course work - it provided something new and unfamiliar which made it intellectually stimulating.”​

High School student, South Kamloops Senior Secondary

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