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The Facility for Chemical Analysis (FCA)

The Facility for Chemical Analysis (FCA) was established in 2016 with the mission to provide advanced chemical analyses services and support to the Research Centres of CyI. The Facility has also the mission to assist CyI in collaborating and providing services to the national and regional/international academic and research communities, and in certain cases to the public and private sectors.

The FCA operates under the Vice-President for Research (VPR) of CyI who supervises its activities and performance, and the scientific priorities and the budget of the Facility are set by a Scientific Committee.

The FCA covers a total area of approx. 228 m² at the second floor of the New Technologies Laboratories (NTL) building at the CyI premises in Athalassa. Facilities include a central laboratory (204 m²) dedicated to sample storage/preparation and ion/carbon/carbohydrate analyses, and two separate analytical rooms (12 m² each) for mass spectrometric analyses of trace metals and organics.

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The FCA location at the New Technologies Laboratories (NTL) building at CyI premises in Athalassa (l); Inside view of the facility (r)

FCA gathers the latest trace analytical techniques for environmental samples (atmospheric aerosols and gases, rainwater, etc.) following international, standardized operating procedures in compliance with EU environmental directives. Combining high tech (mass spectrometer) instrumentation and a team of experienced engineers, FCA provides a large range of quality controlled chemical analyses relevant for Air and Water quality. FCA instrumentation is fully automated, allowing for the chemical analysis of a very large volume of environmental samples in a timely and efficient manner.

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Ion Chromatograph (IC) and Ion Chromatograph – Pulsed Amperometric Detection (IC-PAD) for ion and carbohydrate analysis (left); Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for trace metal and elemental analysis (middle); Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) for trace organics analysis (right)

Research activities at the facility can be classified into two broad categories: Instrumentation and Chemical Analyses for the detection of Anions/Cations, Elemental and Organic Carbon (EC, OC), Carbohydrates, Trace metals, and Trace organics; and analysis of atmospheric aerosols, particularly their chemical composition, concentrations, and sources, for quantifying their impacts on climate, air quality, and health.
Aerosol chemical information is also crucial to better derive their (in)direct impact on climate (hygroscopicity, water-solubility, absorbing material, etc). FCA provides comprehensive characterization of the major chemical components of airborne particles (ions, carbon, elements) allowing for a quantitative aerosol mass reconstruction in various aerosol size ranges (PM1, PM2.5, PM10) and contrasted atmospheric environments (from remote to highly polluted areas).

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