Analytical Technology

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
Sherlock Holmes in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892), A Scandal in Bohemia


SERC is blessed with an excellent suite of analytical instrumentation dedicated to supporting the centre in all areas of its work.

No matter what you study, where your theories take you or how your fantasy directs your research, without the capability to back your conclusions with hard data you may as well never have begun. To meet the demands of the modern research environment there is a clear need to find novel ways to gather precise, accurate, robust, reproducible and reliable data.

The new dedicated analytical facilities on the Glyntaff campus provide the perfect working environment for the laboratory-based equipment which is ably supplemented by process-orientated systems capable of taking data in-situ whether it is in a food or pharmaceutical manufacturing plant or a waste treatment works.


Tandem Mass Spectroscopy Laboratory


Advanced quantitative analysis and qualitative screening capability. A combination of the Waters ACQUITY Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography System for the best liquid separation science and the Quattro micro™ Atmospheric Pressure Ionisation high quality tandem quadrupole mass spectrometer optimised to deliver top levels of sensitivity, selectivity, robustness, speed, and accuracy. The system is capable of reaching lower detection limits at higher sample throughputs than conventional HPLC systems. Applicable for research into compound screening, food safety, environmental monitoring and control, environmental forensics, clinical science, bioavailability etc.

Recent Research on this system includes quantitative determination of illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals in the environment – forensic applications of environmental data.



Varian 320 MS TQ Mass Spectrometer with LP3800 GC with CombiPal Robotics systems


Advanced Chromatography Laboratory

Dionex ION Chromatography

Dionex ICS-3000, AS, DC, SP
Analysis of Organic Acids, lactate, formate. Feedstock analysis. Biomass analysis.
Ions in drinking water and waste water analysis.

Dionex ION Chromatography

Perkin Elmer Headspace GC

PE Autosystem XL GC with HS 40 XL Headspace Sampler
Volatile fatty acids analysis. Waste water analysis

Perkin Elmer Headspace GC

Process Analytical Technology Laboratory

Near Infrared Spectrometry

PE Spectrum 100N Fourier-Transform NIR with Hellma 5421 Optic Fibre immersion probe
In-situ analysis of biomass composition. Analysis of volatile fatty acids, moisture content.

Process Mass Spectrometry

Cyionics INTOTO Real-time atmospheric gas analysis sub ppb. Solvents in air. Off-gas analysis.

Automated Sample Preparation

Solid Phase Extraction – Gilson 404 Syringe Pump ASPEC XL4 plus Caliper Life Science TurboVap LV Workstation.
Sample preparation solid phase extraction robot. Used in trace analysis. Pesticides in water. Drug analysis.