The Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology is housed in the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University and contains approximately 8,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art laboratory, computing, and office facilities.

The laboratories are managed by a professional Laboratory Manager, Diane Hagner who has 24 years of laboratory management experience.  The Center’s office is supported by a full-time Business Operations Manager, Carole Flores, who has over 10 years of experience in all facets of business management including project, grant proposal, and daily operations management.

​The laboratories are organized into five core facilities:


The chemical analytical facility supports routinely used analyses.  Key equipment include:  Trace Analytical (now Ametek) Reduction Gas Analyzer, Shimadzu Prominence High-Performance Liquid Chromatograph with diode array and refractive index detectors, Waters Ultra High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph (UPLC) with diode array and ELSD detectors, Donex ICS 3000 Ion Chromatograph with amperometric and conductivity detectors, Dionex ICS 2000 instruments (2), Shimadzu Gas Chromatograph GC 2010 equipped with FID, ECD, and TCD detectors and a CombiPal robotic autosampler (5), Shimadzu QP2010 quadrupole GCMS, Shimadzu Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzer with solids module, Perkin-Elmer scintillation counter, and Varian Fluorescence and UV/Vis Spectrophotometers.  The laboratories also are well-equipped for standard wet-chemistry analyses as well as high-purity water systems.


The microbiology and molecular biology facility is fully equipped to carry out research on classical microbiology and molecular microbial ecology.  Of particular importance are the following pieces of equipment and specialized facilities:  Coy Anaerobic Glove Boxes (2), Anaerobic Gassing Station, Zeiss confocal laser scanning microscope, Olympus research-grade light and fluorescence microscopes, standard and DGGE electrophoresis systems, Eppendorf epgradient Polymerase Chain Reaction thermocyclers (2) , Eppendorf quantitative real-time PCR thermocyclers (2), Biorad Experion automated electrophoresis system, Biorad Molecular Imager Gel Doc system, incubators, freezers, refrigerators, and an ultracentrifuge.


The process laboratory is a unique, custom-designed research space that maximizes flexibility for supporting the wide range of bench-scale reactor systems used in Center research.  Flexibility is obtained with three “islands” that have electrical, internet, water, and gas utilities running overhead, while the space below is designed and constructed to support a range of reactor systems that will change over time.  Currently, the process laboratory contains several membrane biofilm reactors, methanogenic reactors, bio-hydrogen reactors, and photobiocatalysis reactors.


The Center also operates a ~1,000 sq. ft. photobioenergy research laboratory in the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 5 and its outdoor photobioreactor facility on the roof of the Engineering Research Center.  The indoor laboratory has capacity of large-scale culturing of phototrophs in carboys, 3 16-L benchtop photobioreactors, a 350-mL benchtop photobioreactor, capacity of numerous flask and plate cultures, and the ability to extract and analyze lipids.  The rooftop facility includes 4 75-L single-tube photobioreactors and a large photobioreactor system having 2,100 L exposed to the sunlight.  All outdoor systems are temperature controlled, have controlled CO2-gas delivery, and capacity for harvesting either biomass or free fatty acids.
The microbial electrochemistry laboratory is equipped to perform experiments for fundamental and applied studies on several microbial electrochemical technologies.  The laboratory includes two Bio-Logic 16-channel VMP3 potentiostats, one Bio-Logic 5-channel VSP potentiostat with EIS capability, one Ivium Compactstat portable potentiostat, a 30 deg C incubated room, various incubators for mesophilic and thermophilic culturing, several different types of microbial electrochemical cell setups ranging from H-type cells to larger flat-plate type reactors, a rotating ring disk electrode setup, a tube furnace, several multi-position magnetic stirrers, and several peristaltic pumps.

The Center also has high capacity Dell and Apple computing stations and has access to state-of-the art facilities such as Waters LCMS, Beckman Coulter Liquid handling Robot, Amersham Biosciences Typhoon Trio multifunction imager, and Perkin Elmer Microarray Spotter and Scanner located in other centers of the Biodesign Institute. Specialized ASU facilities available to Center researchers for a modest user fee include: scanning and transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, ion-beam analysis, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, atomic force microscopy, FTIR spectrometry, and secondary ion mass spectrometry.