Mass Spectrometry Facility at Penn State
The Organics Laboratory is a mass spectrometry facility at Penn State. It offers high-resolution mass spectrometry services through a variety of equipment, including liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS). Materials available for analysis include agricultural chemicals, emerging contaminants, pharmaceuticals, plastics, hydrocarbons, pigments, fragrances, and flavor compounds. The lab measures organic molecules, concentrations, and compositions in all sorts of matricies, including water.
The lab's skilled technicians have worked with a wide range of clients with diverse needs including:
- Petroleum fingerprinting and oil-spill forensics
- Microplastic materials characterization
- Archaeology and Art History, such as pigment, ink, and paper characterization
- Hormones in aquatic environments
- Food Science: flame retardants in fish
- Explosives residues in fingerprints
- Drugs on currency
- Trace petroleum hydrocarbons in deep-sea sediments
- Experimental biodegradation products of coal, dibenzothiophenes, and crude oil
- Aldehydes in drinking water and in microbial cultures
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
The Organics Lab's services are available to researchers at Penn State as well as researchers from other institutions and industry.
Work with Us
The Organics Lab is available to assist both Penn State researchers and external clients from industry, government, and other universities.
What is Chromatography?
Chromatography, or "writing color," gets its name from a nineteenth-century method of separating pigments from complex mixtures.
Today, chromatography is the process used to separate components of a mixture. This includes organic and inorganic materials. The reason the mixtures are separated is so that each component can be studied and analyzed.
Organics Laboratory in Action
Research collaborations with the Organics Laboratory