Clay Minerals Laboratory (CML) of the Research Centre
in Kraków is a team of experienced scientists supported
by highly skilled technicians and lab assistants. The
CML analytical part consists of six lab units:
- X-ray diffractometry(XRD) lab with Thermo Electron X'TRA diffractometer equipped with an automatic sample changer and a home-made environmental chamber. The XRD lab provides world-top quality bulk mineral quantitative analysis data using in-house proprietary software and mineral standards and Rietveld program, and the detailed qualitative and quantitative clay minerals analyses on separated fractions.
- Noble gases spectrometry and K-Ar / Ar-Ar dating laboratory with two gas extraction lines, mineral heating chamber, and the Nu Instruments Noblesse noble gases spectrometer. The lab provides routine K-Ar dating of diagenetic events on illite and illite-smectite, syn-sedimentary processes on glauconite, detrital components and provenance studies on coarse micas.
- Thermogravimetry combined with mass spectrometry (MS) and infrared spectroscopy (IR) lab (sponsored by RegPot EU programme). State-of-the-art TA Discovery IR with minimal thermal drift allows precise analyses < 20 mg samples under various gases atmosphere, including H2O-rich, from room temperature to 1200°C. The evolved gas is measured by MS or IR, or both simultaneously. Interactions of a clay thin film with various vapors are analyzed in-situ with an ATR stage in real time, while DRIFT chamber allows tracking in-situ alterations up to 900°C.
- Shale porosimetry and gas adsorption lab (sponsored by Chevron ETC, Houston, USA) are equipped in a brand new low-/high pressure gas adsorption unit ISOsorp by Rubotherm allowing adsorption measurement of various gases (nitrogen, CO2, methane) from vacuum to 150 bar pressure, at 25 to 200°C on mg-size samples. An in-house made saturation system combined with the balances and moisture analyzer provide porosity measurements on shale samples.
- Molecular modeling unit equipped with three Dell PowerEdge R720 servers performs computer simulations for the purpose of supporting interpretation of experimental results provided by other units.
- Clays separation and chemical analysis lab undertakes rocks pretreatment and clay minerals separation and purification, in various modes, the cation exchange capacity measurement, basic chemical analyses of selected cations in rocks and brines. The lab is equipped with centrifuges and ultra-speed centrifuges, flow centrifuge, UV-VIS spectrometer, Sherwood 420 high-quality flame photometer, water baths, shakers, hot plates with stirrers, etc.