The Environmental Organic Geochemistry lab is a state of the art facility for the extraction, purification and analysis of organic compounds from environmental samples. Support for the development of this lab has come from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Ontario Innovation Trust, the Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada, and McMaster University.

The lab is equipped with an array of instruments for the extraction, purification, and analysis of environmental organic samples.




The lab is equipped with an Agilent Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) for compound identification and quantification, as equipped with a Flame Ionization Detector (FID).


Compound specific stable isotopic analysis of organic compounds and inorganic gases is done on two a Finnigan MAT Delta plus Gas Chromatograph – Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (GC/IRMS) systems.


Identification, quantification and fraction collection of larger and more polar compounds, including archeal lipids and dipicolynic acid biomarkers, is done on an Agilent 1200 series High Performance Liquid Chromatograph coupled to single quad MS and fluorescence detectors.

Gerstel PFC system

Fraction collection of individual compounds for radiocarbon analysis  is done using an Preparative Fraction Collection systems  consisting of an Agilent GC and Gesterl PFC system.

MARSx Microwave system

The lab is equipped with a MARSx microwave extraction system to accelerate extractions from sediment and rock matricies.

Virtis Benchtop Freeze Drier

The lab is equipped with general sample preparation equipment including freeze drier, drying ovens, rotary evaopration, shaker tables and solvent evaporation systems.