The Distillery Lab

The "Distillery" Clean Laboratories

In 2012, the “Distillery” laboratory, consisting of Class 100 cleanrooms, was commissioned, thanks to support from the University and the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

In 2016, the laboratory moved to the “Distillery 2.0” (see photos below). This new laboratory was designed for ultra-trace isotope geochemistry. The air quality, monitored at all times, qualifies the lab space as a Class 10 cleanroom.

In these laboratories, geological, archaeological and biological samples are prepared for isotopic analysis or elemental concentration determination. Sample preparation protocols include:

  • Dissolution of geological samples (rocks, soils, sediments) for geochemical analysis
  • Preparation of carbonate samples (speleothems, corals,…) for U-Th dating
  • Ion exchange chromatography to isolate elements for isotopic analysis:
    • Li and B in silicates (rocks, soils, sediments)
    • Cosmogenic 10Be in silicates
    • Cu in biological samples
    • Sr and Nd in silicates and carbonates
    • U-Th in silicates and carbonates

During the first 4 years, over 3,000 samples have been prepared for isotopic analyses and the laboratories support a large number of academic staff, PhD, MSc and Honours students (at UoW and other Australian universities or overseas).