Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science

Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario
What the facility does

Elemental, nutrient and ion analysis for plant, soil and water samples 

Areas of expertise

The Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science facility houses advanced instrumentation to analyze a wide variety of sample types for elemental composition, using both destructive (i.e. atomic spectroscopy) and non-destructive methods (X-ray fluorescence).  Elemental analysis capabilities include carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, sulfur, nutrients, and trace metals. 

Research services

Soil and plant nitrogen and carbon analysis, elemental analysis for aqueous samples, non-destructive X-ray fluorescence elemental analysis for liquid and soil samples, ion analysis of aqueous samples.

Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Chemical industries
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Ocean industries

PerkinElmer Optima 8000 ICP-OES - Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectrometer


The Optima 8000 ICP-OES is a dual view instrument, allowing for the determination of high and low concentrations in the same method. This ICP can measure almost all of the elements in the periodic table, sequentially, within a single sample. The dynamic range of measurement is element- and matrix-dependent, but typically ranges from tens of ppb (g/L) to hundreds of ppm (mg/L).
Shimadzu TOC-LCPH Total Organic Carbon and Nitrogen Analyzer with Solid Sampling ModuleThe Shimadzu can be used to analyze a variety of carbon species and total nitrogen (TN) in liquid or solid samples, using catalytic oxidation. Carbon can be assessed as total carbon (TC), organic carbon (TOC), non-purgable organic carbon (NPOC), and inorganic carbon (IC). This instrument is equipped with an ASI-L autosampler.
PerkinElmer PinAAcle 900T AA - Atomic Absorption SpectrometerThe PinAAcle spectrometer allows for both flame and transversely heated graphite furnace atomization, enabling the analysis of a wide range of sample concentrations. The furnace camera simplifies pyrolysis method development. This system is currently equipped with lamps for Ag, Al, Ca, Cd, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, Mg, Na, Ni, Pb, Ti, and Zn.
SEAL AutoAnalyzer 3 Continuous Flow Elemental AnalyzerThe AutoAnalyzer can test for phosphate and ammonia using continuous flow colorimetry. It is equipped with a 120-vial autosampler, a high-precision pump, two manifolds, and a digital colorimeter with detection limits reaching 0.2 g/L. The internal diameter of the glassware is 2 mm, which allows more complex and non-homogeneous samples to be run without clogging. Roughly 50 samples can be run per hour with a minimum volume of 3 ml.
Mantech AssayPlus Ion Selective Electrode SystemThe Mantech Assayplus system is an automated multi-parameter ion-analysis system. It has a TitraSip module and a 73-position autosampler that holds 50 ml tubes. The system is currently equipped with ion selective electrodes for the analysis of ammonia, copper, chloride, lead, nitrate, potassium, and sodium. PC Titrate software controls the system.
PerkinElmer 2400 CHNS Elemental AnalyzerUsing the Pregl-Dumas combustion method, the elemental analyzer can determine the weight percentage of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, or sulfur in a variety of sample types, with an analytical range of 0.001 to 3.6 mgs (element dependent). The 60-position autosampler allows for automated analysis, and the data is collected by the data management software.
PANalytical Epsilon 3 Benchtop Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence SpectrometerThe energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer is used to determine the concentration of elements from sodium to americium in a wide variety of sample types. It performs non-destructive analysis with ppm level detection limits. The sample turntable holds 10 samples with diameters from 25 to 52 mm.
  • Canadian Aquatic Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Boreal Ecosystem Research (CALIBER)
  • Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC)
  • Cold Regions Research Centre (CRRC)
  • Laurier Institute for Water Science (LIWS)
The Centre for Cold Regions and Water Sciencehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rhK1O_FHxs
WLU Cold Regions Research Centre has exciting year aheadhttps://thecord.ca/wlu-cold-regions-research-centre-has-exciting-year-ahead/
Global Water Futures Collaborationhttps://gwf.usask.ca/science/research-facilities/major-facilities.php#CentreforColdRegionsandWaterS…
High school students test local drinking water at Laurier’s Center for Cold Regions and Water Sciencehttps://www.wlu.ca/news/news-releases/2016/oct/high-school-students-test-local-drinking-water-at-la…