Current Projects

Since its inception in 2008, the CAIL lab has delivered advanced mass spectrometry and chemical analyses for >60 on-campus collaborations in disciplines that span four colleges and eleven departments. CAIL supports student research and has active research collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, and New Mexico Tech, and numerous academic collaborators both nationally and internationally.

On-Campus Research:

NSF MRI: Acquisition of a High Resolution/Accurate Mass Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer for Multi-Disciplinary Research in the State of New Mexico: Through this grant, CAIL installed $1.1 M in new analytical equipment in January 2017, comprised of a high-resolution Orbitrap Fusion mass spectrometer and a nano-flow liquid chromatography system. This instrumentation is the state-for-the art for chemical characterization of extremely complex mixtures and our project includes applications that range from alternative fuel research to disease research, alternative water source uses and fundamental biology. A truly interdisciplinary effort, the project draws support from three colleges. Participating faculty include Tanner Schaub (PI, ACES / CAIL), Emily Indriolo (Co-PI, A&S / Biology), Jeff Arterburn (Co-PI, A&S / Chemistry), Omar Holguin (Co-PI, ACES / PES) and Nirmala Khandan (Co-PI, Eng. / Civil Eng.).

CAIL / NMSU Chemistry / NMSU Biology Collaboration: In 2015, an $830,000 NSF award was granted to PI's Jeff Arterburn (Chemistry), Brad Shuster (Biology) and Tanner Schaub (Agricultural Experiment Station) for a three-year project entitled "In situ lipophile labeling in living cells". The project focuses on the synthesis of fluorescent molecular labels (Arterburn) that are delivered to live cells for imaging applications (Shuster). The Chemical Analysis and Instrumentation Laboratory (Schaub) determines the cellular compounds to which the labels are attached to provide context for imaging data and feedback for tailored organic synthesis. Development of this technology will allow researchers to create images of specific parts of live cells for applications in cancer and other disease research as well as provide fundamental understanding of cellular processes.

Eric Yukl Lab (NMSU Chemistry) / CAIL Collaboration:

Manuscript: Heme Independent Redox Sensing

KC Carroll Lab (NMSU Plant and Env. Sciences) / CAIL Collaboration:

Manuscript: Stabilization and prolonged reactivity of aqueous-phase ozone with cyclodextrin

Collaborations with Off-Campus Partners:

Pacific Northwest Natl. Labs / CAIL Collaboration: Hydrothermal Liquefaction for Renewable Fuel Production. PNNL leads research efforts for DOE to improve the direct liquefaction of biomass by hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL), including examining the use of catalysts in the HTL process for improved biocrude production. The Chemical Analysis and Instrumentation Laboratory at New Mexico State University specializes in the application of high resolution FT-ICR mass spectrometry in the characterization of complex mixtures and has recently shown the unique fit of this technique for the qualitative description of HTL biocrude produced from wood and other feedstock. This collaboration pairs well-defined PNNL capabilities in hydrothermal processing with compositional analysis supplied by CAIL to provide input for feedstock properties and the quality of produced biocrude and upgraded products.

Manuscript: Hydrothermal Liquefaction Biocrude Compositions Compared to Petroleum Crude and Shale Oil

Manuscript: Hydrothermal liquefaction oil and hydrotreated product from pine feedstock

Manuscript: High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Reveals Problem Compounds for Upgrading Algal Bio-oils

Algal Biofuels: CAIL served as analytical support for the Department of Energy's National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts 2010-1013 where we focused on complete chemical characterization of algal extracts and process related samples.

NMSU NAABB Participants

Arizona Research Laboratories

Following the NAABB project, the CAIL lab has been active in algal biofuels research in a number of additional consortia, small group projects and industry-funded study.

NSF EPSCoR Energize New Mexico

REAP Consortium

Manuscript: Hydrothermal liquefaction of Cyanidioschyzon merolae and the influence of catalysts on products

Manuscript: High Resolution Mass Spectral Analysis of Algal HTL Oil and Water Soluble Organics

CAIL / National Renewable Energy Laboratory Collaboration:

Manuscript: Rapid Analysis of Microalgal Triacylglycerols with Direct-Infusion Mass Spectrometry

CAIL / New Mexico Consortium Collaboration:

Manuscript: Impact of nitrogen limitation on biomass, photosynthesis, and lipid accumulation in Chlorella sorokiniana