Department Environmental Chemistry

On the trail of pollutants

Our research team studies the presence, distribution and fate of organic pollutants in the aquatic environment. The focus of our research is on substance flux from urban areas and from agriculture, and the main tools that we use for this work are trace analysis, field and laboratory studies and modelling.

Read more

Latest publications

Rizzo, L.; Gernjak, W.; Krzeminski, P.; Malato, S.; McArdell, C. S.; Sanchez Perez, J. A.; Schaar, H.; Fatta-Kassinos, D. (2020) Best available technologies and treatment trains to address current challenges in urban wastewater reuse for irrigation of crops in EU countries, Science of the Total Environment, 710, 136312 (17 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.136312, Institutional Repository
Curchod, L.; Oltramare, C.; Junghans, M.; Stamm, C.; Dalvie, M. A.; Röösli, M.; Fuhrimann, S. (2020) Temporal variation of pesticide mixtures in rivers of three agricultural watersheds during a major drought in the Western Cape, South Africa, Water Research X, 6, 100039 (12 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.wroa.2019.100039, Institutional Repository
Fuhrimann, S.; Staudacher, P.; Lindh, C.; van Wendel de Joode, B.; Mora, A. M.; Winkler, M. S.; Kromhout, H. (2019) Variability and predictors of weekly pesticide exposure in applicators from organic, sustainable and conventional smallholder farms in Costa Rica, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, doi:10.1136/oemed-2019-105884, Institutional Repository
Dietler, D.; Leuenberger, A.; Bempong, N.-E.; Campbell-Lendrum, D.; Cramer, C.; Eggen, R. I. L.; Erismann, S.; Ferazzi, S.; Flahault, A.; Fletcher, H. A.; Fuhrer, B.; Fuhrimann, S.; Greter, H.; Heerdegen, A. C.; Leach, M.; Leissing, A.; Lilje, J.; Penny, M. A.; Prytherch, H.; Staudacher, P.; Vounatsou, P.; Weiss, F.; Wiedemann, R.; Winkler, M. S.; Zhou, X.-N.; Utzinger, J. (2019) Health in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development: from framework to action, transforming challenges into opportunities, Journal of Global Health, 9(2), 020201 (6 pp.), doi:10.7189/jogh.09.020201, Institutional Repository

Current open positions at Uchem:


Stefan Achermann wins the 2019 Otto Jaag Water Protection Prize

Photo: ETH Zürich
Photo: ETH Zürich

November 18, 2019
ETH Zurich has awarded Stefan Achermann the Otto Jaag Water Protection Prize for his dissertation entitled "Exploring linkages between micropollutant biotransformation reactions and microbial community characteristics in activated sludge". read more

Homing in on pyrethroids

Gas chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry permits selective and highly sensitive analysis of pyrethroid insecticides in extracts from water samples. Pictured here: Michael Patrick, a scientific assistant in Eawag’s Department of Environmental Chemistry
Photo: Alessandro della Bella, Eawag

November 4, 2019
The measurement of trace concentrations of pyrethroid and organophosphate insecticides – now possible thanks to a newly developed analytical method – shows that these compounds can pose a greater threat to aquatic organisms than all other pesticides. read more

Selected and representative research projects

Comprehensive monitoring of organic trace substances in surface waters is time-consuming and costly. The NAWA SPEZ project delivers data and analyses on the status of water pollution.
Predicting environment-specific biotransformation of chemical contaminants
The screening of aquatic systems for known and unknown polar and semi-polar organic micropollutants relies heavily on analytical chemistry, foremost high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) coupled to liquid chromatography (LC)....
Pilot scale advanced treatment of wastewater with granular activated carbon (GAC) and combined with ozonation (O3/GAC) at WWTP Glarnerland