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Cosmogenic Mineral Separation Laboratory

Delehanty Hall has a laboratory dedicated to mineral separation. Much of the lab has been specifically engineered and designed for the safe, rapid and high throughput extraction of quartz from rock and sediment. At any one time, we can run thirty 4-liter sample bottles on the ultrasounds.

A polypropylene hood by Microzone is the center-piece of the lab. The hood has two deep sinks for sample rinsing and is connected directly to the building acid neutralization system.

Two banks of 5 ultrasounds are used for acid etching and quartz purification. They are enclosed in a vented cupboard and supplied with DI water. Each ultrasound holds 3 four-liter etching bottles or 12 one-liter bottles.

Our dedicated drying oven is insulated with mineral wool to prevent the introduction of boron-bearing fiberglass to any of the samples. It is used to dry samples, mineral separates, and clean quartz.

We have extensive storage in lab that allows us to maintain a large stock of bottles for sample processing. Stainless steel shelves double as drying racks and here are shown holding both 1-liter and 4-liter sample bottles.

Density separation is performed on all samples in a metal fume hood using non-toxic Lithium Tungstate compounds.

Data sheets are used to record the treatments for each sample and to calculate quartz yields. The microscope is used to examine samples and identify impurities.