Energy and Environmental Sustainability Laboratories

Energy and Environmental Sustainability Laboratories (EESL) is a shared instrumentation multi-user facility that ties together several individual labs that provide world-class instrumentation and expertise in a broad array of analytical techniques covering materials in all phases. The instrumentation and techniques, while initially acquired to provide analyses in the area of energy/environment interactions, are in use in fields as varied as the geosciences, human physiology, agriculture and anthropology. 

With a goal of providing shared resources to grow the campus energy/environmental research infrastructure, EESL will provide a single administrative structure to simplify your use of instrumentation that you might not otherwise be able to access or afford. 

The current list of labs falling under the EESL umbrella is:

  • Laboratory for Isotopes and Metals in the Environment (LIME)
    LIME has the following shared equipment:
    • Inductively Coupled Plasma - Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES)
    • Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)
      Provides analytical services for elemental analysis of liquid and solid samples. We have 2 Thermo X-Series II Quadruple ICP-MS equipped with Collision Cell technology and A New Wave UP-213 Laser ablation system for solid sample analysis.
    • Multiple Collector Inductively-Coupled Mass Spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS)
      Measures a wide range of isotope systems that are considered “non-traditional”. The traditional systems are C, N, O, S, and H. We will focus on Ca, Fe, Li, Mg, and Sr isotopes, but are capable of measuring other systems, including B, Cr, Cu, Mo, Si, and U. We will not be developing capabilities to measure U-Series nuclides or Pb isotopes and are not a geochronology laboratory.
    • Elemental Analyzer- Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (EA-IRMS)
      Measures stable isotopes of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen (CHON). The facility consists of a Thermo Delta V Advantage analyzer and, currently, two peripheral set-ups.
  • Center for Quantitative Imaging 
    The Center is a multi-user research facility designed to serve the microCT imaging needs of the University and the broader scientific research community. The CQI focuses on two main areas of research - monitoring of internal processes in experimental systems and characterization of complex three-dimensional structure and material composition in natural and synthetic systems. The Center maintains state-of-the-art x-ray microcomputed tomography instrumentation, associated computational and visualization facilities, and significant technical expertise in a range of three-dimensional imaging and characterization areas. The Center's focus on 3D/4D monitoring of internal processes and characterization of 3D structure in natural and synthetic systems is reflected in the instrumentation available for research use.
    • GE v|tome|x L300 multi-scale nano/microCT system
    • Varian BIR HD-600 OMNI-X multi-scale industrial high-resolution CT scanner
  • Penn State Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS) Radiocarbon Facility 
    The Compact Carbon AMS from National Electrostatics Corporation provides high precision dating of carbon-containing material with ages stretching back 50,000 years.
  • Water Quality Lab
    The IEE Water Quality Lab is equipped with a full range of analytical instruments for specific water analyses such as pH, alkalinity, acidity, specific conductance, sulfates, turbidity, chlorides, fluorides, and various forms of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, metals, and heavy metals. The laboratory follows strict quality assurance and quality control guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Techniques available are listed below:
    • Atomic Absorption Spectrometer - Flame
    • Atomic Absorption Spectrometer - Furnace
    • Acidity – Alkalinity Titration
    • Acid Neutralizing Capacity
    • Ion Chromatography – Fluoride, Chloride, Nitrate, Sulfate
    • Carbon/Nitrogen Analyzer  - DIC – DOC - TN
    • Conductivity
    • pH
    • Mercury
    • Discrete Automated Wet Chemistry Analyzer – NH3,SiO2, P
    • Isotope Analyzer   - Oxygen 16/18, Deuterium/Hydrogen
    • Solids Analysis- Total, Settleable, Total Dissolved, Total Suspended
    • Turbidimeter
  • Satellite EESL (SEESL)
    Ties together otherwise isolated instrumentation house in varied locations and Colleges at University Park including the techniques of Stopped Flow Spectrometry and Gas Chromatographic/Mass Spectrometric (GC/MS) analysis.
  • Deployable EESL  
    Will make available deployable field analysis equipment for a variety of environmental applications.

Other Facilities