Solid waste management - sample preparation laboratory

Soil prep lab

We can process a wide variety of solid samples, starting from waste bin bags down to fine powder size, using cryogenic milling, producing material ready for all types of analytical tests. Moisture content is also accurately measured throughout the process to convert between as received (wet) and dry matter reporting bases. Theory of sampling (ToS) is used to inform optimal sub-sampling protocols. The laboratory also specialises in handling solid recovered fuels (SRF).



  • Retsch Cryomill - The CryoMill is used for cryogenic grinding. The grinding jar is continually cooled with liquid nitrogen from the integrated cooling system before and during the grinding process.
  • Retsch PM100 Planetary Ball Mill - The planetary ball mill is used wherever for achieving a high degree of sample fineness. In addition to well-proven mixing and size reduction processes, this mill also meets technical requirements for colloidal grinding and provides the energy input necessary for mechanical alloying. The extremely high centrifugal forces of the planetary ball mill result in very high pulverization energy and short grinding times.
  • Retsch SM300 Cutting Mill - The cutting mill is suitable for the grinding of soft, medium-hard, tough, elastic, fibrous, and heterogeneous mixes of products. It allows effective preliminary size reduction of heterogeneous mixtures, such as waste or electronic components. Analytical fineness is often achieved in one working run. When operated with the optional cyclone-suction-combination, the SM 300 is also suitable for grinding light sample materials or smaller quantities.
  • Retsch RS200 Disc Mill - The Vibratory Disc Mill RS 200 is suitable for the quick, loss-free and reproducible grinding of medium-hard, brittle and fibrous materials to analytical fineness.
  • Retsch BB200 Jaw Crusher - The Jaw Crusher BB 200 is used for the crushing and pre-crushing of medium-hard, hard, brittle and tough materials. Control of the gap width and zero point adjustment allow for reproducible results.
  • ARP CS3000 Shredder - The Compactomat 3000 is used for breaking up cardboard pack-aging, plastic containers, cans, paper, and domestic waste.

Moisture content

Mettler Toledo Moisture Content Analyser HX204 - The Halogen Moisture Analyser is used for determining the moisture content of almost any substance. The instrument works on the thermogravimetric principle. At the start of the measurement the Moisture Analyser determines the weight of the sample, the sample is then quickly heated by the integral halogen heating module and the moisture vaporizes.

During the drying process, the instrument continually measures the weight of the sample and displays the reduction in moisture. Once drying has been completed, the moisture or solids content of your sample is displayed as the final result.

  • Large-scale drying oven for bulk pre-drying.

Sub-sampling and sorting

  • Sorting table: Custom-made with openings at 20 and 30 mm (diameter) to define the Fines in solid waste.
  • Riffle splitters are sampling devices that are used for sample splitting. In the riffle splitter, the sample is poured into about ten open chambers which are arranged so that each adjacent chamber splits the material to flow out towards two different vessels.
  • Retsch Sieve Shaker AS200 - The vibratory sieve shakers are used for quick and automated sieving. Size fractions can be obtained even after short sieving times. They feature analogue adjustment of vibration height and sieving time.
  • Analytical sieves: A variety of sizes are available for particle size distribution analysis and separation.

Who can use the facility?

We are committed to sharing our facilities and associated expertise with external academic and industrial collaborators.

All equipment reservations must be made through Booked. If you have any problems please contact

For general enquiries, Inductions, and Training Requests please contact Morgan Mcgowan


School of Civil Engineering

Members of staff

Academic Manager: Dr Costas Velis, e:
Lead Technician: Karen Stevens, e:
Analytical Technician: Morgan Mcgowan, e: