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Curtin University

Resources and Chemistry Precinct

chemistry precinct Research

The Resources and Chemistry Precinct houses Curtin’s Department of Chemistry in state-of-the-art chemistry laboratory facilities.

The precinct provides a world class environment in which a wide-ranging array of research activities ranging from fundamental ‘blue sky’ investigations to those directly related to the biotechnology, chemical, minerals, energy and resources sectors. Curtin’s Department of Chemistry supports research activities in the following areas:

The Chemistry Department also hosts the:

Research

Technical Specifications


  • floor-to-ceiling glass internal walls and full-length, line-of-sight corridors to enhance visibility and promote interaction
  • ‘future proofing’ for potential Occupational Health and Safety revisions
  • expansive open-plan laboratories, with excellent visibility across laboratory space and adjacent office zones
  • uniform layout for exits, fire extinguishers, services, emergency showers and emergency stop buttons. Wash stations at each laboratory entrance to allow decontamination when moving between office and laboratory zones
  • ease of rearranging and optimising research groupings, equipment and facilities
  • provision for ‘working quantities’ only of chemicals, with dedicated areas for chemical storage. Teaching laboratories accommodate microscale chemical manipulation (to improve safety, and minimise chemical costs and waste disposal volumes)
  • Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2) requirements in all laboratories, air-handling capability, chemical storage areas, access patterns and management structures
  • acid-resistant modular bench tops, with mobile under-bench storage
  • power and data management, with blank access plates and wiring for future expansion
  • oil- and moisture-free compressed air, water aspirator grade vacuum, Milli-Q grade deionised water
  • steam (to one laboratory on each floor)
  • high-grade nitrogen and argon
  • fumehoods that contain a full set of laboratory services (and doubled for students)
  • specialised overhead directional fume extraction for weighing balances
  • large wash-up sink with fume extraction around the lip.
  • chemical storage, including cabinets within dedicated dangerous goods stores. These can be grouped by hazardous goods category, with lockable cabinets assigned to individual research groups. Dedicated weighing facilities in each store allow useable quantities to be measured out, without moving bulk chemicals to the laboratories
  • Type-3 dangerous goods (flammable liquids) storage. T hese fire-rated facilities contain anti-static floors (a copper sheet and earthing unit beneath a wall-towall conducting epoxy coating) and are fully bunded. Decanting benches with scavenging ductwork minimise the risk of major spills, and avoid the need to shift large volumes in laboratories
  • dangerous-goods handling rooms, purpose-built for chemical manipulations with significant safety requirements, or the purification of large amounts of solvents. Each room has three booths with a grated floor to contain large spills, and is equipped with laboratory services, chilled water and steam. Each booth has an explosion-proof polycarbonate door, and a pressure-release hatch angled towards the ceiling
  • specialty gas manifold cabinets contain manifolds for up to three pairs of cylinders, piped into localised laboratories. A s one cylinder empties, the manifold automatically switches to the second, and alerts the BMS for replacement
  • large fridge/freezer rooms for storing heat-sensitive chemicals and samples. These rooms have moisture-proof power outlets, and so can be equipped with benches for cold experimentation. One floor has an oversized fridge/freezer room connected to back-up power for additional sample preservation.
  • a ground-floor room is designed for segregation and storage of all classes of chemical waste
  • the various classes of waste are contracted out for professional disposal
  • gases extracted from acid-digestion fumehoods are scrubbed to remove acidic compounds, and released through stacks six metres above the roof’s apex – twice the legal height requirement. Modelling studies confirm that dispersion profiles are excellent under a range of weather conditions. Periodic air monitoring for a range of chemicals, including volatile organic gases, particulates and noise is in place in the immediate vicinity and across the University campus. Data is compared with baseline values to ensure environmental impact is minimised and within acceptable levels.