Ede Hertelendi Laboratory of Environmental Studies

Website of the research infrastructure network jointly operated by Isotoptech Zrt. and the Nuclear Research Institute.


Ede Hertelendi Laboratory of Environmental Studies

15 years of continuous development of the isotope and elemental analysis centre

Development of sampling and measurement methods, instruments, analytical procedures and services

Among the TOP50 Research Infrastructures in Hungary


Research & Development

& Innovation

One of the declared aims of our cooperation is to put scientific results into practice and to transfer the high-quality scientific results available in research institutes and universities to economic operators.

The laboratory, with its unique instrumentation and more than ten unique mass spectrometers, provides a world-class research and service environment for the Hungarian and international environmental, hydrological, geological, geochemical, archaeological, nuclear energy and radioactive waste management communities.


Practical application of research findings


More than ten unique mass spectrometers


  • our results are published in a number of internationally recognised journals


  • excellent cooperation network with national research institutes, universities and museums


  • our unique instrumentation provides solutions to a wide range of problems, even complex ones


  • member of several international projects
  • links with international universities, research institutes


Activities and services


HEKAL’s analytical instruments can be used to determine the isotopic ratios of many elements, including the precise quantification of rare isotopes that are difficult to detect. Three stable isotope ratio mass spectrometers are used to determine the isotope ratios of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and sulphur in a wide range of substances (e.g. water, air, rocks, bone, tooth, plant material, etc.), while the most sensitive is used to measure carbonate coupled isotope ratios. The isotopic ratios of water, methane and carbon-dioxide are measured using special laser spectrometers.  

The laboratory’s five noble gas mass spectrometers also have a wide range of applications. The determination of helium, argon and other noble gas isotopes, whether dissolved in water, encapsulated in minerals or resulting from the decomposition of tritium, is carried out with special noble gas mass spectrometers.  

Applications of carbon isotopes, including accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS), which allows the measurement of radiocarbon, range from archaeological dating to the monitoring of environmental releases from radioactive installations. In Hungary, the multicollector ICP-MS is also a unique, niche instrument for the extremely accurate isotopic determination of a wide range of elements (Li, Mg, Ca, Fe, Cu, Sr, Hf, Pb, Th, U, etc.).

Alpha spectrometers, gamma spectrometers and liquid scintillation counters are used for the detection of difficult-to-measure radioisotopes involved in nuclear environmental tasks 

The analysis of tens of thousands of samples per year is made possible by the coordinated work of several preparatory laboratories, such as the chemical, hydrochemical, radiochemical and a clean room laboratory.  

Through extensive international contacts, our laboratory is involved in the analysis of samples from all over the world (41 countries) and provides a platform for industrial, undergraduate and PhD training. The laboratory has become part of the European research infrastructure through its membership of EUROPLANET and ICOS ERIC. 

The utility of our research results has been demonstrated in several cases to serve specific industrial needs. Several of our developments have reached the prototype (TRL7) level of technological maturity demonstrated in a real operational environment. With the involvement of our partners, we continuously strive to cover the entire innovation chain, supported by our own electronics and mechanical workshop background. HEKAL’s main objective is to become a niche R&D&I centre in Hungary and an outstanding R&D&I centre at EU level, meeting the needs of society, environmental and economic actors.

Do you have a specific project?

Unleash your creativity with outstanding professionals, efficient workflows and unique tools

  • ideas from the lab to the market
  • developments
  • prototype designs
  • We help you bring your idea to life.

Our infrastructure

We provide a world-class research and service environment for the Hungarian and international industrial and scientific communities.



László Palcsu PhD.

Senior Research Fellow


+36 52 509 200/11238



Ede Hertelendi Laboratory of Environmental Studies

H-4026 Debrecen, Bem tér 18/C, Hungary