Gauteng LABS – Environmental Isotopes
The Environmental Isotopes Laboratory (EIL)
The EIL is an essential cross-disciplinary analytical facility, providing rapid and necessary analytical services to a wide range of private and academic entities. Its commercial analysis activities are a valuable source of income from both institutional and private entities, which also assists iThemba LABS (Gauteng) in supplementing government funding. The EIL offers excellent exposure for technical and diploma students to the activities of a busy laboratory employing cutting-edge technology, in keeping with the aims and objectives of the NRF. There will be close co-operation with the AMS facility, and these two high-volume analysis facilities will enhance the growth and development of each other. This will result in greatly increased throughput and training of students.
Current Functions and services of EIL with particular relevance to South Africa
Services to Corporate and Institutional Clients.
A growing number of clients from the private sector and the public service use the EIL’s analytical services on a commercial basis, generating income both for the client and the EIL.This allows, at the least, for a recovery of the running costs for the EIL, and has major potential for significant income generation for iThemba LABS (Gauteng). In addition, the data generated can, in some instances, be utilised for student projects.
The EIL contributes to international programmes like the Global Network of Isotopes in Precipitation (GNIP) and the Global Network of Isotopes in Rivers (GNIR) initiated by the IAEA and WMO (World Meteorological Organisation). In addition, it regularly participates in international intercomparisons for quality analysis. It contributes to IHAN (International Hydrological Analytical Network), as well as regional programmes, such as resources assessment, which generate local and regional academic and government linkages.
Academia and Research Collaboration.
Analytical services and expertise are rendered to researchers and students from universities, technikons, and other institutes, assisting and partially co-supervising post-graduate students in achieving their higher degrees.
Envisaged Co-operative Research and Student Development over the next 5 years.
The EIL will in the future assist the AMS facility by providing 13C data and employ it in isotope hydrology projects. Environmental isotope studies are generally used in conjunction with other analytical techniques. It is often the case that environmental isotope analyses are only carried out once a project is well developed, as they are employed to, for example, validate models.
Environmental isotope studies have been applied in the Earth, Life, and Medical sciences, and the growth potential of this cross-discipline work is being enhanced.
All inquiries should be addressed to:
The Group Head, iThemba LABS (Gauteng), Private Bag 11, WITS 2050, South Africa.
E-mail: Dr. Simon Mullins, Tel: (+2711)3517000, Fax: (+2711)3517053