Water Quality Centre
The Trent Water Quality Centre (WQC) is the most comprehensive mass spectrometry facility in Canada. We specialize in method development and the application of new and innovative techniques for measuring isotopes and trace amounts of organic and inorganic contaminants in water and other environmental compartments. We offer analytical services and mass spectrometer training courses to researchers, government agencies and private companies.
The objectives of the WQC are to:
- encourage and promote research, scholarly activity, and training in the development and use of advanced analytical chemistry techniques, and
- promote the application of new technologies developed in the Centre, in Canada and elsewhere.
Our analyses include:
- stable isotopes (eg. δ13C, δ15N, δ18O, deuterium, Mg, Fe, Zn, Hg, U) and radiogenic (eg. Sr, Pb, Nd) isotope ratios
- single particle analysis
- emerging contaminants (eg. pharmaceuticals, personal care products)
- volatile fatty acids (VFAs)
- total Hg (no sample preparation required for solids)
- transition metal scans
- determination of low concentrations (ppt or ppq) of most metals
- P, S, Ca, Mg, Na, K analyses
Don't be fooled by our name!
Biological material (food products, plants, invertebrates, bird eggs and feathers, fur), sediments, soils, fly ash, municipal wastewaters, industrial by-products and process waters, also can be analysed.
We have two labs dedicated to mass spectrometry analyses!
One lab houses our ICP-MS's including: an Agilent 8800, Nu Attom, Nu Plasma 2 and Nu Plasma 1700 in addition to a Teledyne Leeman Prodigy ICP-OES. The second lab, located just down the hall, houses our 'organic' MS's including: an AB Sciex Q-Trap 5500, Thermo Orbitrap Q-Exactive, Bruker SolarixXR FTICR, a Thermo Trace 1300 GC-MS, a Nu Horizon CF-IRMS (for δ13C, δ15N analyses) and a Los Gatos Research LWIA (for δ18O and deuterium analyses).
Research areas at the Centre include:
- cycling of trace metals (e.g., uranium) in lakes and catchments
- source partitioning of mercury input into lakes
- new methods to measure radioactive elements at ambient levels
- the release of pharmaceuticals from waste treatment facilities
- analysis of proteomes
- metal(oid) speciation analysis
- isotope ratio determination
- measurement of nanoparticles
- metabolites of ash trees attacked by the Emerald Ash Borer
- binding of ligands to proteins
- identifying and quantifying plant hormones (eg. cytokinins)
In total, researchers at the Water Quality Centre have been successful in winning nine major »Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) awards