Edinburgh, United Kingdom





X-Ray CTX - HWU-RCCS (UK4.2)

X-ray CT Scanner Facility


X-ray computerised tomography (CT) is a non-destructive analytical technique used in engineering, science and medicine to visualise the internal structure of machine parts, computer components, man-made and natural materials. The CT Scanner analysis software can output a variety of files for further analysis, reprocessing and presentation, e.g. 2D x-ray images, 3D volume files, image slices, model animation and movies, as well as performing some advanced calculation techniques, e.g. defect analysis (porosity or inclusion), and flow and diffusion analysis (transport phenomena). This newly installed instrument is now fully operational offering imaging analysis across a broad range of research fields.




Up to 225 kV multi-metal reflection target

Spot size 3 to 225 µm (7 to 225 W)

Varian 14-bit detector, 2300 x 3200 pixels

Pixel size 127 µm / max. 3 fps

5-axis manipulator, max. weight 15 kg

Circular and helical sample analysis

VG Studio’s 3D inspection / analysis software

Inspect-X reconstruction software


State of the Art, uniqueness & specific advantages

Non-destructive imaging technique providing valuable information about the internal structure of an array of materials is accomplished using a Nikon XT H 225 CT Scanner is fitted with a 225kV x-ray gun, a 5-axis manipulator sample stage, and a 14-bit 3140x2360 pixel detector. The micro-focus x-ray gun has a multi-metal target and numerous filtration options, which allows the production of hard and soft x-rays, hence increasing the type of samples that can be analysed. The 5-axis manipulator stage allows for precise control of the sample during analysis in either circular or helical mode, and has a maximum sample weight limit of 15kg. The detector panel has a pixel size of 127µm, and can collect 65536 shades of grey, at up to 3 frames per second. The ultimate resolution of the system is dependent on numerous factors, including but not limited to, magnification and rotation intervals, but is typically in the range of 10-100µm.

Scientific Environment

The Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) at Heriot-Watt University, is an interdisciplinary world-leading engineering centre, inspiring and delivering innovation for the wider deployment of technologies needed to meet necessary carbon targets. The RCCS occupy over 350 m2, across ten separate and interlinked laboratories, with dedicated high-end analytical research instruments and many bespoke in-house designed systems and rigs for advanced research and process development dedicated to research into Carbon Capture, Storage, Transport and Utilisation, in addition to facilitating several projects in the fields of Low Carbon System and Negative Emission Technologies. Along with facilitating our core research activities, the RCCS welcomes Academic and Industrial collaborators, and offers external contract analysis services.

Operating by

Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt University
United Kingdom
CAPTURE technologies:
Non-destructive imaging technique with a range of applications
STORAGE technologies:
Non-destructive imaging technique with a range of applications
UTILISATION technologies:
Non-destructive imaging technique with a range of applications
TRANSPORT technologies:
Non-destructive imaging technique with a range of applications
Research Fields:
Fluid dynamics, Chemistry/Geochemistry, Geology/Geophysics, Mechanics/Geomechanics, Material science, Modelling, Physical processes, Engineering, Non-destructive imaging technique with a range of applications
Facility's fact sheet

Location & Contacts

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Dr Sean Higgins
RICC Contacts - Secondary contact
Audrey Ougier-Simonin

Facility Availability

Unit of access (UA)
Availability per year (in UA)
40 days
Duration of a typical access (average) and number of external users expected for that access
Average interaction will be 1 UA (day)

Quality Control / Quality Assurance (QA)

Activities / tests / data are
State of Quality: Equipment calibrated and validated by qualified staff using recognised industry standard techniques

Operational or other constraints

Specific risks:
Specialist research equipment will require qualified facility staff to operate, therefore access depending on resource and staff availability. A risk assessment will be required prior to any work taking place in the facility. All external visitors will undergo a safety induction and be provided with written safety instructions.
Legal issues

CCUS Projects

EU-Funded CCUS Projects
Other CCUS Projects
Low carbon jet fuel through integration of novel technologies for co-valorisation of CO2 and biomass
Novel adsorbents applied to integrated energy-efficient industrial CO2 capture.
Solar fuels via engineering innovation
CO2 injection and storage - Short and long-term behaviour at different spatial scales
Innovate UK
Next Generation Green Data Centres for Environmental and Business Sustainability

Selected Publications

ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. 11, 40, p. 36789-36799. (2019)
Novel porous carbons derived from coal tar rejects: Assessment of the role of pore texture in CO2 capture under realistic postcombustion operating temperatures.
García-Díez, E., Schaefer, S., Sanchez-Sanchez, A., Celzard, A., Fierro, V., Maroto-Valer, M. M. & García, S.
Faraday Discussions, 215, p. 329-344. (2019)
A microfluidic photoelectrochemical cell for solar-driven CO2 conversion into liquid fuels with CuO-based photocathodes.
Kalamaras, E., Belekoukia, M., Tan, J. Z. Y., Xuan, J., Maroto-Valer, M. M. & Andresen, J. M.
Energy Procedia. 158, p. 767-772. (2019)
Thermodynamic Analysis of the Efficiency of Photoelectrochemical CO2 Reduction to Ethanol.
Kalamaras, E., Maroto-Valer, M. M., Andresen, J. M., Wang, H. & Xuan, J.
Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. 57, 41, p. 13802–13810. (2018)
High-Temperature CO2 Capture by Li4SiO4 Sorbents: Effect of CO2 Concentration and Cyclic Performance under Representative Conditions.
Izquierdo, M. T., Saleh, A., Sanchez Fernandez, E., Maroto-Valer, M. M. & García, S.