Soil Biogeochemistry Lab
The biogeochemistry laboratory at Biosphere 2 is used to study chemical processes in soils and sediments as influenced by flowing water, plants, and microorganisms. The main focus of the lab is to support the Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO) .
Biogeochemistry laboratory is equipped with all necessary equipment needed to process a large number of samples that LEO is expected to generate (chemical hoods, centrifuge, source of ultra-pure water, analytical and table top balances, pH and conductivity meter, soil sampling equipment, mortars/pestles and sieves to prepare samples for analyses). The laboratory was recently outfitted with the Dionex UltiMate 3000 High Precision Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC) with Diode Array Detector and Dionex ICS 5000 Ion Chromatograph (IC) with conductivity and electrochemical detectors. HPLC allows determining concentrations of organic compounds in solution (for example, organic acids exuded by the plants and microorganisms). Ion chromatograph gives us a wide range of analytical capabilities, allowing quantification of organic and inorganic anions, cations, as well as carbohydrates and amino acids. These capabilities allow us determining availability of nutrients to the plants, exudation of a range of compounds by the plants in response to environmental drivers, release and transport of lithogenic elements through the soils, among many other applications. The laboratory also has high-capacity equipment for conducting flow-through column experiments, including a Master Flex peristaltic pump and Teledyne ISCO Foxy 200 automatic sampler/fraction collector.
Additional advanced analytical instrumentation is available through The Arizona Laboratory for Emerging Contaminants (Inductively Coupled Plasma MassSpectrometry, Gas Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry, Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry), Center for Environmental Physics and Mineralogy (Laser Diffraction Particle Size Analyzer, X-ray Diffractometer, Gas Adsorption Surface Area Analyzer), and University of Arizona electron microprobe and microscopy facilities.