Lake George
Darrin Fresh Water Institute,
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Bolton Landing, NY 12814

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DFWI: Facilities

Keck Water Research Laboratory


Keck Water Lab Instrumentation


Lachat Ion ChromatographIon Chromatograph/Flow Injection Analyzer (Lachat Instruments)

The Ion Chromatograph is used for the determination of anions in a water sample. Water sample is injected into a column where the anions in the sample are separated based on their charge. They are then sent through a conductivity detector and displayed as a peak on a computer. Samples at Keck are generally analyzed for Fluoride, Chloride, Nitrate and Sulfate but the instrument has the ability to perform analyses for Bromide, Nitrite, and Phosphorus as well.

The Flow Injection component mixes pre-made reagents with a water sample to produce a color detectable by a flow cell at a particular visible wavelength. This is again produced on a computer screen as a quantifyable peak. The ion chromatograph as well as the flow injection component is widely used in ongoing projects with acid rain research in the Adirondacks and Lake George watershed studies.


Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AA-Perkin Elmer)

Used for the determination of cations (metals) in a water sample by direct aspiration of a sample into a flame. For most research projects submitting samples to Keck, analysis generally includes major cations including Sodium (Na), Potassium (K), Iron (Fe), Magnesium (Mg), and Calcium (Ca). Other trace metals on the periodic table can be analyzed including cadmium (cd), chromium (cr), and lead (pb).



keck tocTotal Organic/Inorganic Carbon Analyzer (TOC/TIC - OI Analytical)

TOC is the amount of carbon bound in an organic compound and is often used as an indicator of water quality. A typical analysis for TOC measures both the total carbon present as well as the so called "inorganic carbon" (IC), the latter representing the content of dissolved carbon dioxide and carbonic acid salts. Subtracting the inorganic carbon from the total carbon yields TOC. The TOC analyzer at Keck uses a high tempersulfate oxidation method to determine TOC content and is mostly used for projects involving acid rain studies.



keck chnCarbobon Hydrogen Nitrogen Analyzer (CHN - CE Elantech)

The organic elemental analyzer analyzes C,N,H,O, and sulfer in soil, seawater, and groundwater sources. The analyzer uses a combustion process to break down substances into simple compounds which are then measured.





Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS - Shimadzu)

Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry is a method that combines the features of gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample. Applications of GC-MS include drug detection, environmental analysis, and identification of unknown samples. Currently, the GCMS at Keck is being used to identify pesticides from the ongoing Hudson River Estuary Study.




Flow Cytometer (Becton Dickinson)

Flow Cytometry is a technique for counting and examining microscopic particles, such as cells and chromosomes, by suspending them in a stream of fluid and passing them by an electronic detection apparatus. It allows simultaneous multiparametric analysis of the physical and/or chemical characteristics of up to thousands of particles per second. A common variation is to physically sort particles based on their properties, so as to purify populations of interest. The flow cytometer at Keck identifies particles based on the fluorescence and scatter of laser light.




Flurometer (Turner Designs)

The flurometer is configured to determine the concentration of chlorophyll in sample concentrates and aqueous solutions.  Chlorophyll concentrations serve as a surrogate for the density of algal cells in lake water systems.  The instrument is also capable of analysis for rhodamine or fluromine dyes used in tracer studies to characterize water movement patterns in lakes and groundwaters.





keck pH meterpH Meter

pH analysis provide a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of water samples.  Low pH values in the range of 4 to 5 are characteristic of acidic environments. The pH reading of a water sample represents a very good baseline when determining preliminary water quality. Used for almost current projects at Keck, it is especially useful for acid deposition studies.



For a complete list of our water testing capabilities and pricing, please contact us.

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