X-ray diffraction system, temperature / humidity chamber
Crucible handling robot for thermal analysis
Physisorption system for surface area and pore size analysis

Lime burning trials for limestone assessment

The mineralogy section comprises staff and laboratories providing expertise and a suite of techniques aimed at characterising, quantifying and interpreting the mineralogy and related physical properties of earth-science related materials. These include:

  • X-ray diffraction: the primary tool for identifying and quantifying the crystalline compounds in rocks, soils and particulates. It is also an essential technique for researching the nature of clay minerals
  • Clay mineralogy: characterising the nature of clay minerals is critical to many geoscience projects from host rocks and engineered materials for radioactive waste repositories to the behaviour of reservoir and cap rocks for hydrocarbon exploration and gas storage to the maintenance of soil fertility and an understanding of palaeoclimate
  • Thermal analysis: BGS has an enviable reputation for geoscientific thermal analysis that stretches back to the 1960s. These techniques are concerned with measuring the physical or chemical properties of a sample against time or temperature while subjecting the sample to a controlled heating program in a specified atmosphere
  • Surface area analyses: in the Earth Sciences, surface area and porosity are important parameters when considering the characteristics of rocks and soils particularly with regard to their engineering properties, industrial mineral use, water/hydrocarbon potential, gas storage and possible effects on soil quality and human health
  • Heavy media separation: using lithium polytungstate and analysis of isolated fractions using optical and scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction techniques
  • Industrial Mineral Resource Assessment


Please contact Simon Kemp for further information