Oceanography / Limnology
Numerical Modeling
Visualization and Animation
Specialized Sampling Tools
Acid Rock Drainage
Database/Software Development

Microelectrode technology has been used in academic earth sciences studies since the 1980’s. Lorax adopted the technology for assessment of oxygen penetration depths in, and consumption rates by, industrial (Pulp & Paper, Oil & Gas and Mining) effluents released to both the marine and terrestrial environments. Oxygen microelectrodes are gold plated platinum cathodes which are sealed exposing a surface area ranging in size between 5 μm to 50 μm in diameter at the tip. The low oxygen consumption rates at the tips facilitate high-resolution (vertical resolution of 200 µm) measurement of dissolved oxygen microprofiles across the sediment/tailings-water, including measurement across the diffusive boundary layer. This system has been used by Lorax for determining dissolved oxygen microprofiles in several field and laboratory studies of organic waste degradation and subaqueous & subareal tailings reactivity. The data have then been used as input to oxygen consumption-sulphide oxidation models. In addition, Lorax has utilized pH minielectrodes to measure pH microprofiles in tailings/sediment porewaters. Lorax has used pH microprofiles to assess acid generation in saturated tailings and waste rock in several field and laboratory studies.

Lorax personnel fabricate the microelectrodes and have developed various in situ and laboratory instruments for their deployment. In addition to the use of microelectrodes in laboratory tank tests at the Lorax Laboratory, a micromanipulator apparatus has been developed by Lorax to measure oxygen and pH microprofiles in sediment cores. In situ measurements in submerged deposits using microelectrodes are facilitated by the use of a tethered, automated Microprofiler which can be submersed up to a depth of 200 meters.