Central Science Laboratory

Elemental Analyser

Elemental Analyser
Sandy Bay Campus, Chemistry Building, Level 4, Room 448

The facility for Elemental Microanalysis is equipped with a flash combustion elemental analyser and a high precision microbalance:

  • a Thermo Finnigan EA 1112 Series Flash Elemental Analyser
  • a Sartorius Microbalance SE2

The elemental analyser measures the amount of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulphur in materials by the combustion of small amounts (1-2 mg) of the unknown substance in pure oxygen and in the presence of catalysts at high temperature. The combustion products are separated by passing them through a packed column and are quantified using a thermal conductivity detector.

The high precision micro balance can weigh samples up to 2 grams with a readability of 0.1 µg.


The facility is principally used to determine the levels of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur in samples as diverse as rocks, soils, ice cores, biological materials, and novel organometallic compounds. A recent project measured the nitrogen content of a series of forage grasses to determine which species had the best protein content.

For more information please contact Dr Thomas Rodemann.