Tasks that would have taken days will now be done in minutes.
The recent decision to invest in the upgrade of our electron microscopy capability means that Heriot-Watt €™s Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE) can accelerate their analytical research. "Tasks that would have taken days will now be done in minutes", says Dr Jim Buckman who manages IPE €™s Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM).
The new facility will be the UK €™s fastest and opens up a wide range of research capabilities. The new resource will arrive in late October and will be up and running shortly after.
Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) is one of the ways in which IPE researchers can determine the composition of hydrocarbon bearing rock material. EDX mapping allows us to build up a picture of the different minerals present in the sample. By understanding more about the geology of the Earth via EDX we gain a better understanding of geological processes that occurred in rock formation. This enhanced understanding helps lead to the development of more effective ways to extract hydrocarbons from the Earth €™s crust.
The new equipment will be adding to our strong existing ESEM capability and will consist of an Oxford X-MaxN 150 mm EDX detector, with Aztec software. The EDX detector will integrated with our new FEI Quanta 650 FEG ESEM, a large chambered high resolution environmental scanning electron microscope.
The rapid EDX mapping facility will be a real benefit to the whole university giving a chance for deeper understanding of a wide range of materials and minerals.