G360 operates two analytical laboratories on the main University of Guelph Campus in Alexander Hall. These labs are staffed by full-time, professional technicians and facilitate the analysis of rock, soil and water samples for organic contaminants using advanced techniques. Work conducted in these labs helps to further work associated with all the major research focuses of the G360 Institute for Groundwater Research.
The microwave extraction and gas chromatography labs work in tandem to produce high-resolution contaminant profiles obtained from discretely sampled rock and soil cores. The Milestone ETHOS SEL Microwave Oven is used to heat potentially contaminated samples in pressurized vessels which virtually eliminates the losses of volatile organic contaminants (VOCs) incurred using other methods of sample-contaminant analysis. Samples are then prepared and transferred to the gas chromatograph lab for analysis on the Agilent 6890/5975 Gas Chromatograph / Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) and the Tekmar Atomx Purge and Trap System. These analyses facilitate high-sensitivity identification of both target and non-target analytes, which is critical to contaminated site investigation as non-target analytes (primarily degradation products of initial contaminants) may potentially pose a greater risk to public health and the environment.