Microwave Mars 6

Field of research:

Institution: Christian-Albrechts University Kiel, Institute of Geosciences, Sedimentology, Shelf Geology
Contact: Dr. Jan Scholten
Location: GEOMAR

The Microwave MARS 6 system is a widely-used technique for the disgestion of all kinds of solid environmental samples. For their chemical characterisation, a complete digestion of the sample (e.g. sediments; corals) is normally necessary (Research topic Dangerous Ocean). This requires a chemical treatment of the samples of interest using aggressive acids combined with high temperatures. In the microwave, dissolving of solids is achieved by placing the sample together with the acids into a closed vessel and exposing it to microwaves under controlled conditions. The resulting heat and pressure causes a relative fast decomposition of the sample. Twelve samples can be simultaneously dissolved in the Mars 6. The system is also equipped with a vacuum concentration/drying accessory which allows the evaporation of acids which is often necessary for later chemical analyses of the elements of interest.