Bath unveils new chemical analysis facility

Professor Jane Millar and Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood

Professor Jane Millar presented a University of Bath coffee tamper to Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood in recognition of his research collaboration with the University

Last week our scientists celebrated the launch of the University's Chemical Characterisation and Analysis Facility (CCAF) that can be used in research ranging from creating biodegradable plastics to finding new treatments for late stage cancer.

CCAF is comprised of state of the art Mass Spectrometry (M/S), X-Ray and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) equipment maintained and operated by a team of analytical experts.

A recent £1.3 million investment from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has seen the installation of five new instruments (two M/S, two X-ray and one NMR) into refurbished laboratories.

Head of CCAF, Dr Anneke Lubben said: “CCAF is a cross-faculty facility available for all scientists from across the University and externally and is a welcome expansion to our existing facilities.

“At Bath we have a wealth of expertise in medicinal chemistry, sustainable chemistry and biological analysis. Now we have the equipment to match this.

“Several external companies and collaborators from other institutions already use our services – from analysing pesticides to studying constituents of foods and pharmaceuticals.”

The official launch was marked by a symposium on Tuesday 9 September entitled: “The Alchemy of What We Swallow”, which loosely covered aspects of chemical analysis in food and drink, drugs and medication.

There were a series of scientific talks, a poster session, manufacturer’s exhibition and a tour of the facilities, as well as some more light hearted talks on the science of food from local food suppliers.

A highlight of the day was a talk about the impact of water chemistry on coffee flavour from the UK Barista Champion 2014, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood (owner of Colonna & Smalls coffee house in Bath), who talked about his research collaboration with Bath computational chemist Christopher Hendon on the effects of different waters on the taste of coffee. Delegates also got the chance to taste the difference for themselves in the lunch break.

Colonna-Dashwood was presented with a specially commissioned University of Bath coffee tamper by Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Jane Millar in recognition of his research collaboration with the University.

The event was attended by around 120 delegates and included academic users, local businesses, and other industrial collaborators and external CCAF customers.

To get more information about using CCAF, please contact Anneke Lubben on +44 (0) 1225 386172, email

Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood

Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood gave a talk about how water chemistry affects the taste of coffee


The CCAF launch was attended by around 120 delegates from the University and industry


Delegates were treated to a series of talks on "The alchemy of what we swallow"

For media enquiries:

Vicky Just
University Press Office
44 (0) 1225 386883
44 (0) 7966 341357