Tallinn University of Technology

Laboratory of Geochemistry and Mineralogy

Contact: geoloogia.lab@taltech.ee

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  •     Determination of elemental composition by XRF method
  •     Determination of mineral composition by XRD method

The laboratory of geochemistry and mineralogy mainly deals with studies of the elemental composition and structure of rocks and other materials, and with petrographic studies of rocks.

The laboratory uses a Bruker S4 Pioneer x-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF) to analyse the elemental composition, with which it is possible to determine the content of a wide range of chemical elements from fluorine to uranium in the content range of 10ppm – 100%.

A Bruker D8 Advance X-ray diffractometer (XRD) with a powder diffractometry setting is used in the laboratory for mineralogical and structural studies. In geology, the method is a basic tool for determining mineralogical composition and allows to study structural changes in minerals as a result of various environmental influences.

As to the preparation of samples, the laboratory is equipped for sawing, crushing and grinding rocks and making thin and polished sections.

The laboratory has long been participating in the International Association of Geoanalysts benchmarking programme, which aims to provide feedback on the quality of laboratory analysis (see certificates). The laboratory is comprehensive, and in addition to research, it also participates in national projects and cooperates with private companies, such as chemical engineering companies, metallurgical industry, pharmaceutical industry, road construction companies, etc.

Certificates: dolerite, phosphorite, siliceous siltstone, granodiorite, sediment, tonalite, sandy loam, sandy loam2, monzonite, basalt, calcified sediment, leucomonzogranite, granite, metalliferous shale

Laboratory of Isotope and Hydrogeochemistry

Contact person: PhD Merlin Liiv, tel 5399 8112

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Isotopic composition of organic matter (carbon and nitrogen) in sediments and other samples are analysed with a stable isotope mass spectrometer Delta V Advantage.


The gas preparation and injection system is FlashEA 1112 + ConFlo IV.

The isotopic composition of water samples is determined with a Picarro laser spectrometer and the ionic composition with a Thermo Dionex ion chromatograph ICS-1100 Autosampler AS-DV:

Detectable ions:

Fluoride, chloride, nitrite, bromide, nitrate, phosphate, sulphate, lithium, sodium, ammonium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, strontium and barium.

Measurement accuracy depending on the ion to be determined is between 0.8% and 5.4% at the mean calibration concentrations of these ions.

To determine the isotopic composition of water, a Picarro L2120 laser spectrometer is available in the laboratory:


Laboratory of Sedimentology and Paleoecology

Contact person: PhD Tiiu Alliksaar, tel 5888 0632

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- Analysis of the organic, carbonate and silicic composition of sediments by the incineration method
- Analysis of the elemental composition of the sediment organic matter (total C, orgC, total N, H, S, O)

Pre-treatment of sediment, peat, soil, rock or water samples for biological, biostratigraphic (pollen, siliceous algae, macrofossils, etc.) or chemical analyses. Analysis of the chemical composition of the organic matter of sediments and other samples, as well as the analysis of the main components of the composition of the sediments.
From the main components of the sediment composition, we determine the content of organic, carbonate and terrigenous substances by the incineration method. From the elemental composition of organic matter, we can determine the content of total carbon, organic carbon, total nitrogen, hydrogen, sulfur and oxygen.
The Laboratory of Sedimentology and Paleoecology is equipped with a Thermo FLASH 2000 CHNS-O elemental analyser for organic matter. There are three fume cupboards (Retent Ltd.), one of which is a fume cupboard with individual exhaust and a special air cleaning filter for working with hydrogen fluoride. In addition, the laboratory has a number of equipment for chemical treatment of samples - hot plates, water bath (Julabo TW 20), hot plate with sand bath (Clifton HP1-2D), centrifuge (Hettich Universal 320), mixers (Vortex Genie 2) and mixer (RETSCH MM 400). The samples are weighed using electronic analytical and technical scales (Mettler Toledo), and the samples are dried or incinerated in drying ovens (Termaks) and incinerators (Nabertherm) or freeze dryers (Scanvac Coolsafe 55) in a special incinerator. The laboratory uses analytically pure water from the Millipore Elix 3 water treatment plant.

Särghaua Earth Science Centre

Contact person: Centre Administrator PhD Maris Rattas, tel 5884 6443

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