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Analytical Lab

The MSI Analytical Laboratory is a facility established in 1977 that performs chemical analysis in support of the research community. The Lab offers support to university and industry researchers worldwide including ExxonMobil Biofuels, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP),  and U.S. EPA Western Ecology Division. The services offered include Stable Isotope Analysis, Seawater nutrients, and Elemental (CHN) analysis. You can find a description of the instruments here and a complete list of services provided by the MSI Analytical Lab here


  1. Elemental Analyzers – CHN »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry


    • High-temperature combustion analysis

    • Simultaneous determination C, H, and N as weight percents

    • Horizontal combustion tube with removal of spent sample capsules

    • Autosampler tray (64 sample positions) sealed under helium during run

    • 5 - 6 minute analysis time per sample

    General Description

  2. Flow Injection Analysis – Nutrients »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry


    • Simultaneous determination of up to 5 analytes per sample

    • Random-access autosampler with racks for up to 120 samples per batch

    • Analytical manifolds available:

      • Nitrite

      • Nitrate plus Nitrite

      • ortho-Phosphate

      • Silicate

      • Ammonium

  3. Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometers »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry


    • High-temperature combustion with GC separation of combustion gasses

    • Continuous-flow sample introduction

    • Isotope enriched or natural abundance level samples

    • Provides weight percent values as well as isotope ratios for each element

    Finnigan Delta Plus XP in Continuous Flow Mode

    • Features:

      • Finnigan Gas Bench 2 allows for d13C and d18O analysis of carbonates, gas samples, and d13C of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC).