The chemistry laboratory provides a central chemistry lab infrastructure for the whole ZMT, technical and scientific support in terms of planning and performance of instrumental analytics and methodologies. The technical staff supports the scientific divisions in planning and realization of sampling in-house campaigns (in the MAREE) or research expeditions.

The established methods represent the three analytical fields of the laboratory: organic, inorganic and isotopic geochemistry. Basic physical parameters as pH, salinity could be measured as well as highly resolved isotopic ratios of different environmental matrices.

Equipment for basic parameters such as pH and salinity for expedition into the tropics is available. Based on the focus of the institute´s research, established measurements provide results on e.g. fingerprints of organic components, amino acid composition, fatty acid profile, particle size distribution, micro nutrient content, isotope ratios (13C/15N/18O), and element content (e.g. organic carbon, total nitrogen, trace elements including heavy metals).



  • 1 GC-MS/FID (Agilent GC-FID 7890B and MSD 5977 equipped with cold injection and pyrolysis
  • 1 HPLC (UV-VIS and Fluorescence detector, Agilent)
  • 1 IC for estimation of amino acids (Biochrom)
  • 1 TOC-TdNb analyzer (Shimadzu)
  • 1 ICP-MS (Plasma Quant Elite, Analytik Jena)
  • 1 ICP-OES (Cirros Vision, Spectro/ Ametek)
  • 2 IR-MS MAT 253 (Thermo Fisher)
    • I∂13C and ∂18O – CO2 gasbench
    • ∂15N and ∂18O – NO3 gasbench
  • 1 CN analyzer coupled with IR-MS (Delta plus, Thermo Fisher (∂15N and ∂13C)
  • CN analyzer for carbon and nitrogen (EA)
  • Variety of cuvette and continuous flow Photometer/ Fluorometer (e.g. from Hach, WTW, Jasco, Skalar, Alliance)
  • Laser particle size analyzer (LA 950, Retsch)
  • 2 Isotope ring down spectrometer for gas analytics (CO2 and N2O)
  • Variety of Electrodes and Sensors (Hach, WTW, OTT, EUREKA)
  • Diverse titration stands (e.g. O2, TA)
  • Detectors for natural radioactive decay (RaDeCC, RAD7)

Additionally the laboratory provides facilities for the preparation of samples, e.g. drying cabinets, mills and complex extraction and digestion equipment.

The laboratory staff take care of best data quality assurance in the field and in the laboratories by determining international or in-house reference. Additionally, twice a year the laboratory takes part in external quality control tests (Quasimeme,

Since ZMT’s research topics also focus on sustainability, the chemistry lab tries to support research projects whenever possible with methods considering re-use of materials, non-toxicity for humans and environment, low-cost and use of free access or open sources. The laboratory also assists in ZMTs teaching assignments and in capacity development with tropical partners by hosting students for their theses and conducting practical lab trainings (e.g. ISATEC course or internships).