Agilent Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer with Gerstel MPS (Multi-position sampler)

GC-MS allows the separation of volatile compounds in complex mixtures and identification of unknowns. Quantitative methods have been set up on the system to analyze bio-oil samples from HTL by liquid injection, derivatized or non-derivatized. Recent work involved the development of a quantitative method for the analysis of HTL water samples via chloroformate derivatization.

The addition of the Gerstel MPS sampler allows the use of liquid injection autosampling (96 vials) as well as automated Pyrolysis, Thermal Desorption, head space analysis, evolved gas analysis (EGA), solid phase micro extraction (SPME) and Twister SPME.

Currently automated pyrolysis is used to investigate the monomer ratios and pyrolysis products of lignin as well as the composition of the high molecular weight fraction of bio-oils. The aqueous phase from HTL is investigated by solid phase micro extraction as well as head space analysis and derivatization.gerstel


Agilent Gas Chromatograph- Flame Ionization Detector

This instrument is primarily used to analyze the gas phase from the Lab Scale continuous HTL facility based in the department. A method has been developed to identify and quantify the most
abundant gases from hydrothermal processing such as CO2, CO, H2, CH4 and C2H6. In combination with the GC-MS further 54 compounds have been identified in the gas phase. For more information see: doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2015.05.095






Dionex Ultimate 3000 HPLC with UV/Vis Detector

The High Pressure Liquid chromatograph (HPLC) allows the separation and quantification of components in mixtures. With the use of a PolarSil column, Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC) has been set up to analyze lignin and its degradation products as well as bio-oils. SEC allows the determination of the molecular weight distribution and averages of samples. The versatile HPLC instrument allows the analysis of a wide range of compounds such as environmental pollutants.





Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (qTOF-MS) (Dionex, Bruker)


The UHPLC-qTOF-MS system is used to identify and quantify organic compounds in atmospheric aerosols from

biogenic and anthropogenic sources. Compounds can be separated by reversed-phase UHPLC in gradient mode and identified by their exact molar mass and characteristic mass fragmentation.

In combination with two high-volume particle samplers (Digitel), the particulate matter from large volumes of air are concentrated on filters which are extracted and then analyzed by the UHPLC system. Samples from urban environments and remote locations have been analyzed to investigate the composition, concentration and effects of organic aerosols on the atmosphere and climate.



 Ion chromatograph (Metrohm)

The IC unit allows separation of compounds based on their affinity to the ion exchange column. The unit is used to identify the main anions and cations from environmental samples such as sea water and aerosols.




Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) equipment

The HTL equipment is available to AC3 in collaboration with the Centre for Materials Crystallography, Aarhus University.

Small scale batch reactors (~25 mL) are used in a Fluidized sand bath (Techne-TLB2) to investigate the use of new biomass materials, parametric studies, model compounds and catalysts. 

The results from the small scale batch reactors are used to scope out the optimal conditions for the Lab Scale continuous HTL reactor. This system was built and is run by the Centre for Materials Crystallography. Only a few of these systems are currently in place around the world in academic institutions. For more information on the HTL system, see DOI: 10.1021/acs.iecr.5b00683

The AC3 group collaborates with CMC on the analysis of the HTL products to facilitate process optimization in terms of yields and quality of the produced fuels. We collaborate with the AU Department of Engineering and its HTL pilot plant at AU Foloum