Sheffield, S20 1AH, United Kingdom


Analytical Facilities pool (UK2.5)

Analytical facilities pool - ICP L

OVERVIEW OF INTEGRATED FACILITIES The UK national Pilot-scale Advanced Capture Technology (PACT) Facilities have a pool of a wide range of state-of-the-art analytical facilities. These include: (1) online analytical instruments such as FTIR gas analysers and particle size analyser which complement and enhance dedicated analytical capabilities on a specific rig as well as (2) lab based analytical equipment which provides supporting analysis such as fuel analysis or solvent concentration, composition, or degradation analysis. Lab based experimental equipment such as Petroxy tester can also aid research on thermal and oxidative stability of solvents. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION: PACT Clarus® SQ 8 GC/MS: The GCMS enables analysis of gaseous and liquid samples. Its application includes fuel analysis, combustion product analysis, and analysis of component concentrations and loading in capture solvents and their degradation products to inform mechanistic and solvent degradation studies. The GC/MS combines a high performance Clarus 680 gas chromatograph and a quadrupole mass spectrometer. The GC features a unique, high-performance oven with the fastest heat-up and cool-down rates available. Its twin-walled oven design with concentric air exhaust enhances separation of VOCs at near-ambient temperatures. The GC also features a programmable pneumatic control (PPC), providing constant retention times reproducibility under widely varying temperature or pressure conditions; and a universal Programmable Split-Splitless (PSS) and Programmable On-Column (POC) injectors. The Clarus SQ 8 MS is engineered around the industry’s most sensitive, yet durable Clarifi™ detector which provides a flexible choice of sensitivity levels and dynamic range (1-1200 µ), eliminates background noise and maximizes analyte signals. State-of-the-art electronics process more scans across each peak, resulting in unmatched accuracy and precision and better overall spectral fidelity. PACT Perkin Elmer Pyris 1 Thermogravimetric Analyser (TGA): The TGA enables detailed thermal decomposition studies under inert and oxidative atmospheres of samples, such as fuel and ash samples. The TGA is a vertical design and features a high sensitivity ultra-microbalance which is thermally isolated from the furnace. It is held by a quartz hang-down wire, an X-Y micro-alignment system for easy sample pan centering, and a direct reaction gas injection port to directly couple the sample specimen to the purge gas. The furnace chamber volume is minimised which reduces time for removal of volatile and/or product gases and/or exchange of purge gas, enabling seamless switching between inert gas for sample pyrolysis for the removal of volatiles and decomposition gases to oxidative purge gas for sample oxidation and ash content determination. The furnace design also features a unique heater/sensor furnace technology with the platinum heater element also serving as the temperature sensor. This delivers responsive temperature control for more accurate results. Fast furnace cooling is achieved through a “tube-within-a-tube” technology. Loading fine-powdered or static-sensitive samples is greatly improved by the use of ion stream around the sample area. PACT TG-MS, TG-GCMS, TG-IR: The TGA can also be coupled to a Perkin Elmer FT-IR and the PACT GCMS for hyphenated techniques: TG-IR: TG-MS, TG-GCMS, enabling characterisation of the evolved products from the thermal degrading of samples. PACT Perkin Elmer 2400 Series II CHNS Elemental Analyser: The analyser enables rapid determination of the carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulphur content in organic and other types of materials (metal cations are excluded). It can handle a wide variety of sample types, including solids, liquids, volatile and viscous samples. Its applications include, for example: fuel and ash analysis. Sample analysis is based on the classical Pregl-Dumas method where samples are combusted completely in excess oxygen to CO2, H2O, N2 and SO2. The gases are homogenised at controlled conditions and then depressurised and separated using Frontal Chromatography and thermal conductivity detection to provide a reliable and accurate determination of the combustion gases. Performance (using He carrier gas): accuracy <0.3%; precision <0.2%; analytical range (mgs): C 0.001 - 3.6; H 0.001 - 1.0; N 0.001 - 6.0; S 0.001 - 2.0. PACT Cambustion DMS500 Fast Particulate Analyser: Cambustion DMS500 enables real-time analysis of particle size and distribution. The analyser is mobile and connects to a sampling point via a 10 m sampling line to provide continuous online sample monitoring and analysis. It can be used for example for the analysis of soot or fly ash particulates in exhaust gases of the PACT 250kWth PF Air-Oxyfuel Plant or the PACT 330kWth CHP Gas Turbine, or to analyse aerosol formation on the PACT PCC Plant. The instrument uses electrical mobility measurements of particles with sensitive electrometer detectors enabling the generation of particle size, number, and mass spectra in real time. The instrument has the fastest time response available and the widest available size range: from 5 ‒ 1000 nm (with optional 5 nm ‒ 2.5 μm measurements) as well as the highest Sensitivity in Class. PACT Gasmet FTIR Gas Analysers: The FTIR Gas Analysers enables online real-time analysis of up to 20‑25 compounds (potentially more depending on spectral interference) including: water, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, nitrogen monoxide (nitric oxide), nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ammonia, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, methane, ethane, ethene, n-propane, n-hexane, formaldehyde, MEA, and many others. It is an ideal tool to measure trace concentrations of pollutants in wet, corrosive gas streams. It is a portable unit which can be deployed across different plants at PACT or at a customers’ own site. The analysers have been used extensively for emission and performance analysis on PACT PCC Plant and analysis of exhaust gases on PACT Gas Turbines or PACT 250kW PF Air/Oxyfuel Plant. Other applications could include analysis of process/flue gasses on customer site. The Analyser includes a GASMET Dx‑4000 FTIR, a portable sampling unit with filter, a selection of heated sampling lines from 1 to 18 m in length, and a selection of heated sample probes including high capacity mounted and smaller portable probes. In terms of general operating parameters, the spectrometer has a resolution of 8 cm-1 or 4 cm-1 with a wave number range of 900 to 4200 cm-1 (or up to 8000 cm-1) and scan frequency of 10 scans/s. It has no sensitivity drift and <2% linear deviation of the measuring range; it has <2% drift of measuring range for a 10K change in temperature and 1% change in measured value for 1% change in pressure, but ambient pressure is measured and compensated for. Sample should be at ambient pressure and gas sample flow rate can be 120-600 L/h non‑condensing with the gas temperature the same as the cell; 2 µ filtration of particulates from the sample stream is required. PACT PetroOxy Oxidation Stability Tester: This lab based equipment originally designed for oxidative stability tests of petroleum product can also be utilised for thermal and oxidative stability/degradation tests of capture solvents.

Areas of research


State of the Art, uniqueness & specific advantages

State of the art analytical facilities

Scientific Environment

INTEGRATED PILOT-SCALE FACILITIES PACT Post Combustion Capture Plant PACT 250kWth PF Air-Oxyfuel Plant PACT 330kWth CHP Gas Turbine

Operating by


Translational Energy Research Centre
United Kingdom
CAPTURE technologies:
Research Fields:

Location & Contacts

Sheffield, S20 1AH, United Kingdom
Dr Kris Milkowski
RICC Contacts - Secondary contact
Dr Audrey Ougier-Simonin

Facility Availability

Availability per year (in UA)
Duration of a typical access (average) and number of external users expected for that access
between 2 hours (per sample for lab equipment) and 1 day for online equipment

Quality Control / Quality Assurance (QA)

Activities / tests / data are:
Acredited To Standard: nd
Link to your institution QA webpages if available:

Operational or other constraints

Specific risks:
Legal issues: