Bruce Peat

23rd November 2015

The Centre for Hyperpolarisation in Magnetic Resonance

Name: Victoria Annis

Job Title: Research Technician

Company: The Centre for Hyperpolarisation in Magnetic Resonance, The University of York, York, England, United Kingdom


The Centre for Hyperpolarisation in Magnetic Resonance at the University of York


Peak hydrogen generators assist researchers at The University of York

The Centre for Hyperpolarisation in Magnetic Resonance (CHyM) is a joint research centre based out of The University of York comprised of the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Psychology.

Victoria Annis is a research technician at CHyM based at the University of York. The CHyM are using Peak hydrogen generators to supply pure hydrogen to parahydrogen generators as part of research into hyperpolarisation which is being conducted to discover the causes of, and find solutions to, sensitivity issues associated with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Victoria has described the benefit of using Peak generators for her application:

Could you tell us a little about the analytical techniques used in your department and the aims of your research?

“CHyM focusses on the use of NMR and our main research aim is signal enhancement for use in both chemical catalysis/reaction mechanisms and medical research (MRI signal enhancement). We also have LC-MS, UV and IR instruments which are used predominantly for sample characterisation.”

What Peak Scientific generators do you have in your laboratory and what instruments do they supply?

“We have 5 Peak Scientific hydrogen generators which we use to supply pure hydrogen to our parahydrogen generators.”

What is the role of hydrogen in your hyperpolarisation work?

“We cool the hydrogen to approximately 30°K (-243°C) over a paramagnetic catalyst to parahydrogen which is a spin isomer of hydrogen. We then use the special spin characteristics of parahydrogen to enhance MR (magnetic resonance) signals of target substrate molecules.”

Is purity of hydrogen critical for your application and if so, how does the generator compare to your previous gas source?

“Yes – if we cool impure hydrogen to 30°K the impurities would freeze due to the differing freezing points and cause blockages in our equipment.”

Would you recommend Peak Scientific generators to other laboratories using similar instrumentation - and if so, what would be your main reason for the recommendation?

“Yes I would recommend the Peak Scientific generators. They are reliable, easy to operate and simple to maintain. “


For Victoria purity is critical, impurities entering the system will freeze and cause blockages and result in instrument downtime causing loss of time and increased costs. The CHyM use Peak generators instead of cylinders or other generator manufacturers because they can trust the purity of the hydrogen output which is of particular importance to their application. Furthermore, Victoria has pointed out other core benefits of using Peak generators namely: the reliability, ease of operation, and the simple maintenance which are all geared towards keeping labs up and running.

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