PNNL Sequim has three state-of-the-art ISO 5 clean-air laboratory facilities. These facilities are used to prepare, handle, and analyze environmental samples for ultra-trace level determinations of metals and metalloids. Key components of the clean labs include:
- Positive pressure within the laboratory, maintained by introducing HEPA-filtered air from 6 filtration units mounted in the ceiling.
- Casework and hoods, constructed of polypropylene or non-metallic materials to eliminate metal contamination sources.
- ISO 5 laminar flow clean benches, used for sample preparation and analysis to ensure sample integrity.
- High purity 18 MΩ cm deionized water, fed into the laboratories from a centralized water purification system and MilliQ water sources in the laboratory.
The clean labs contain the following analytical instrumentation available for ultra-trace level determination of elements and chemical speciation in environmental samples:
- Trace elements are analyzed using two Thermo Elemental iCAP Q inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometers (ICPMS) equipped with a SeaFast sample introduction system for direct sample introduction and sample preconcentration of complex matrix solutions, such as seawater.
- PNNL-Sequim scientists conduct chemical speciation of metalloids by interfacing a high-performance liquid chromatograph to the ICPMS.
Elemental compositions of biological tissues and other solid matrices are examined following sample dissolution using a Perkin-Elmer Optima 7300 inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectro