On-demand acid purification for geochemistry research and teaching

Keck Lab at Oregon State University


The Keck Lab at Oregon State University, is a world-class teaching and research analytical facility that specializes in the development, application, and training in state-of-the-art, plasma-based elemental and isotopic analysis techniques for the earth, ocean, and other sciences.
The staff at the Keck Lab is proud of the hands-on teaching experience and exposure that undergraduate and graduate students from a wide variety of colleges and departments across OSU receive to a broad range of geochemical analysis techniques.
In recent years, research projects the Keck Lab supported have included: studying the otoliths in pacific northwest salmon to understand migration patterns, understanding the link that fortifying feed can have on reducing livestock dependency on antibiotics, environmental arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh, and the impact different environments and other factors have on the long-term quality of concrete.


Despite the Keck Lab’s successful track record of supporting a wide range of research, there have been challenges. First, it can be difficult to predict the lab’s workload due to the frequent shifts in projects, making it a challenge to ensure the lab has sufficient reagents on-hand from project to project. Second, some of the students and visiting professors who utilize the lab fail to report shortages for reagents, which can further complicate matters. To prevent these challenges from negatively impacting the lab’s ability to run samples, it’s important that they are able to quickly replenish their ultra-pure acid supply with an in-lab solution.
When we get busy, we depend on our students to notify us when they are running low on reagents. The duoPUR removes the stress from the situation when we discover our reserves have been depleted. We can quickly go into high productivity and replenish our reagents without sacrificing acid quality.
Chris J. Russo, Lab Manager @ Keck Lab
  • Keck Lab


Milestone’s duoPUR is the only solution that enables Keck Lab to keep pace with the ultra-pure acid demands of its students and researchers. The duoPUR’s unique dual quartz still design has enabled Keck Lab to quickly purify the HCI and HNO3 acids required without disrupting the lab’s overall workflow.
Ultimately, the Keck Lab decided to purchase a new duoPUR unit and estimates the unit will pay for itself after 7-8 months of operation, which is important for a laboratory with limited funding sources.

duoPUR and subPUR

Milestone has developed the duoPUR and subPUR, sub-boiling distillation systems which allow laboratories to make their own high purity acids at dramatically reduced costs.

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"Since duoPUR has two stills, they can dedicate separate stills to HNO3 and HCl purification without the risk of cross-contamination."
Keck Lab