To encourage high-pressure biological/geochemical research and to facilitate collaboration among researchers, the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) supported the custom development of the 50 mL Pressurized Underwater Sample Handler(PUSH50). Key attributes of the PUSH50 are its capability to both sample and transport biological samples under constant pressure and its certification for airline transport. The PUSH50 includes a 50mL reservoir and can maintain samples at up to100 MPa and 160 °C.

push50 components in carrying case

DCO instrumentation support is being used to establish two high-pressure facilities with sample and transport equipment that will be available for use by the DCO Community. Initially, each facility will include five PUSH50s as well as a skid, pump, compensator and pressure sensor. These new facilities will be set up in 2016 in the laboratories of Isabelle Daniel (Université Claude Bernard Lyon1) and Karyn Rogers (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) where the PUSH50s and their accompanying equipment are being tested. As constructed, the PUSH50 is compatible for use on a SeaBird carousel but plans will be made to adapt it for use with submersibles and other deep-sea sampling equipment. The transporters, now known as PUSH50s, were delivered to Drs. Daniel and Rogers in September 2015.

PUSH50 in the field


Close up of PUSH50


The PUSH50 is used by Isabelle Daniel and Hervé Cardon (both of Université Claude Bernard Lyon, France) to collect fluid samples at pressure from monitoring wells of the Hellisheidi power plant (Iceland) as part of a Science for Clean Energy (S4CE) project (September 2018.)

Principal Investigators

  • Dr. Karyn Rogers
    Karyn L. Rogers Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
    Dr. Karyn Rogers
    Karyn L. Rogers
    Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA

    Dr. Karyn Rogers is an assistant professor in the Departments of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Biological Sciences at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is Co-Director of DCO’s PRIME (Piezophile Research Instrumentation for Microbial Exploration) Facility and Associate Director of the New York Center for Astrobiology. Rogers’ research focuses on the relationships between microbial communities and environmental conditions in extreme ecosystems, and is broadly applied to understanding the nature of the origin of life on Earth, the potential for life throughout the solar system, and the extent of life in modern extreme environments. She is a member of the Deep Life Community.

  • Isabelle Daniel
    Isabelle Daniel Université Claude Bernard Lyon, France
    Isabelle Daniel
    Isabelle Daniel
    Université Claude Bernard Lyon, France

    Prof. Isabelle Daniel’s research interests focus on geobiology and minerals/rocks under extreme conditions. In her work, she employs advanced in situ experimental and analytical methods such as Raman spectroscopy and synchrotron X-ray diffraction. She investigates serpentinization and serpentine minerals, fluid-rock interactions at high pressure and microorganisms under extreme conditions. Daniel is a faculty member in Earth Sciences at the Université Claude Bernard Lyon1 in France, where she is also affiliated with the Laboratoire de Geologie de Lyon and chairs the Observatoire de Lyon. Because of the depth and breadth of her research, Daniel serves as chair of the Scientific Steering Committee for the Deep Energy Community and as a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the Deep Life Community. She is also active in the DCO’s Extreme Physics and Chemistry Community.

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