Funding for a new type of mass spectrometer to aid net zero research
This new instrument will be used to characterise the geochemistry of microscopic, solid-rock materials.25/03/2021 By BGS Press
BGS is pleased to announce success in the UKRI-NERC Strategic capital call 2020 for the purchase of a new type of mass spectrometer. This will enable investigation of extremely small chemical variations (isotope ratios) of specific elements in minerals and other geomaterials, usually hindered by the presence of other elements and molecules.
The instrument will focus on direct analysis using a laser, of a range of materials at scales up to a thousand times smaller than a millimetre. The results will contribute to research across the BGS science strategy, but particularly in areas focussed on the role of the subsurface in delivering a net zero carbon economy, such as:
- rock weathering and alteration processes
- migration and reaction studies in carbon capture and storage systems
- fluid mobilisation and reaction in shallow and deep geothermal systems
- critical metals research for energy storage solutions
The instrument will complement and expand the laboratory capabilities already available in the Geochronology and Tracers Facility (GTF), part of the BGS Rock Volume Characterisation Cluster, and will be accessible to the UK research community as part of the GTF role in the National Environmental Isotope Facility.
It is anticipated that the instrument will be operational by mid-2022. BGS wishes to thank UKRI-NERC for supporting this bid and the important research to which it will contribute.
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