Nutrients Division


The Nutrients Division determines concentrations of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, silica, and carbon constituents in fresh, brackish, and saline water samples, as well as in solid matrices, including air filters. CESE’s most recent instrument acquisitions include a Lachat QuikChem 8500 and the Shimadzu TOC-L total organic carbon analyzer.

Recent projects supported by the Nutrients Division include:

  • Determination of nutrient concentrations in support of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Long Island Sound and Ambient Water Quality Monitoring Programs.
  • Detection and quantitation of algal and cyanobacterial pigments, including chlorophyll.
  • Determining nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in precipitation and dry deposition.

Some of our clients and collaborators include:

  • Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Northeast Aquatic Research
  • Eastern Connecticut Conservation District

Available Instrumentation

Instruments Use
 Lachat QuikChem 8500 Flow Injection Ion Auto Analyzer, consisting of four channels and an auto sampler  To determine the nitrogen, phosphorus, and silica series; to determine total phosphorus and nitrogen; and to determine other project-specific ions (by altering the channel configuration and selecting appropriate wave lengths) 
 Shimadzu TOC-L Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzer  To analyze carbon series 
 Perkin-Elmer 2400 Carbon, Hydrogen and Nitrogen (CHN) Analyzer, using high-temperature combustion and detection by thermal conductivity   To determine elemental carbon and nitrogen in solid samples, such as soil, ash, and filters 
 Dionex DX500 Ion Chromatograph, equipped with an auto sampler and specific analytical columns   To determine anions and cations
 Turner Fluorometer   To determine chlorophyll as an indicator of biomass 
 Hach Spectrophotometer with multiple-size flow cells   To conduct special studies 
 Denver Autotitrator   To analyze for alkalinity 
 Temperature-monitored walk-in refrigeration room   To store samples 
 Vented autoclave   To digest water samples for phosphorus and nitrogen studies 
 Temperature-controlled walk-in incubator   To determine biological oxygen demand (BOD) 
Filter apparatus for dissolved and particulate fractions, along with muffle furnace and drying oven  To process samples