Chemical Engineering Lab

Work in the chemical lab is centered on the chemical, biological and environmental aspects of energy technology and the efficient use of our natural resources. This includes, for example, work on renewable fuels such as methane, biodiesel and hydrogen, as well as research on novel uses of geothermal effluents. Environmental monitoring, bioremediation and the prevention of scaling and corrosion in geothermal power systems are further research interests. Collaborations with industry, government agencies and universities play an important role.

Integration of Teaching and Research

The lab space was designed from ground up to closely integrate teaching and research. The teaching lab consists of a classroom with wet bench space for up to 24 students and fume hood space for up to 12 students, as well as a demonstration bench and lecture area. The classroom is connected to the adjacent research lab with wet bench space and desks for up to eight visiting scientists, M. S. or Ph. D. students. Undergraduate students can also use the research lab for project work. Equipment and reagents can easily be shared between both sides.

Technology in the Classroom

As with all programs at Keilir, emphasis is being placed on using technology to improve students‘ learning experience. To this end, many instruments with USB interface are used in students‘ experiments and demonstrations. Students can connect them to their own laptops to record experimental data and teachers can project data in real-time via their computer and LCD projector. The collection of USB compatible instruments used in chemistry includes a UV-VIS spectral photometer, balance, pH probe, conductivity probe, gas pressure sensor and temperature probes.  Results and reports are exchanged online between students and teachers.

Classes and Outreach

Initial classes taught in the lab include undergraduate instruction in chemistry and biofuels in the B. Sc. programs in Energy Technology and Mechatronics, and college preparatory classes in Chemistry, Physics and Biology  (Háskólabrú). M. S. and Ph. D. projects will be carried out in collaboration with other institutions.

The lab is also part of wider efforts to increase the knowledge base on the Reykjanes peninsula, and is available for outreach programs such as summer courses for schools, science teachers, and continuing education for various audiences. We always welcome ideas and inquiries about custom-tailored science classes.

Facilities and Utilities

Total research and teaching lab space is about 250 m2. Free floor and wall space for additional equipment is available in the research lab. In addition, some large equipment is located nearby in a shared machine room. All necessary utilities are provided:

  • Propane gas
  • Vacuum
  • Compressed air
  • Deionized water (regular and ultrapure grade)
  • Fume hoods with vented storage cabinets
  • Wireless LAN, Ethernet, LCD projector

Access to the lab is controlled by chip cards.

Equipment

The lab is well equipped for organic and inorganic analytical work, sample preparation and storage. Major instrumentation:

  • Perkin Elmer Clarus 500 gas chromatograph with FID detector, coupled to a Clarus 560 S mass spectrometer
  • Perkin Elmer Flexar HPLC
  • Perkin Elmer AAnalyst 400 atomic absorption spectrometer with autosampler
  • UV-VIS spectral photometer
  • Analytical balance
  • Refrigerators and freezers (-86°C, -20°C, +4°C)
  • Sorvall RC-6plus high-speed centrifuge
  • Refrigerated tabletop microcentrifuge
  • Autoclave
  • Heated/cooled incubator shakers and cabinets
For further information about the Chemical Lab, please contact Egill Þórir Einarsson, head of the Chemical lab