Department Environmental Chemistry

Current projects

Urban areas

Emissions from the galenic production (GalPro) of pharmaceuticals can lead to concentration peaks of active ingredients in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents...
Ozonation is one of the treatments used in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to remove MPs, reducing their discharge to the aquatic environment...
Characterization of wastewater treatment with suspect und non-target screening for the evaluation of ozonation and activated carbon treatment
Formation and fate of transformation products in water treatment with ozone and biological post-treatment
Pilot scale advanced treatment of wastewater with granular activated carbon (GAC) and combined with ozonation (O3/GAC) at WWTP Glarnerland
EcoImpact is an Eawag-wide interdisciplinary research effort, strongly motivated by the planned modifications of the Swiss wastewater treatment plants.

Agriculture

Feasibility Study Trend Analysis and Spatial Transferability of Pesticide Monitoring Data
Surface water contamination by plant protection products in small catchment: How do they get here?
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.
Input of plant protection products into surface waters in rural landscapes: What is the relevance of hydraulic shortcuts ?
...is an inter- and trans-disciplinary research project, studying environmental, health and institutional dimensions of pesticide use in tropical settings

Analysis

Comprehensive, open access database of > 2000 secondary metabolites from cyanobacteria...
Identification and quantification of species in the vast and diverse universe of organic micropollutants is a daunting challenge for environmental sciences...
High resolution mass spectrometry in the field
Ozonation is one of the treatments used in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to remove MPs, reducing their discharge to the aquatic environment...
Various aquatic organisms produce extracellular biomolecules, e.g., enzymes to catalyze reactions, chelators to transport metals, or toxins to fight competitors...
In order to obtain a more comprehensive picture of the contamination of Swiss groundwater with polar organic micropollutants...

Process studies

Reading biotransformation half-lives of agrochemicals across different compartments...
Previous studies monitoring micropollutant concentrations in aquatic invertebrates revealed tissue concentrations of many compounds to be substantially higher than predicted from models...
Ozonation is one of the treatments used in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to remove MPs, reducing their discharge to the aquatic environment...
In regulatory hazard and risk assessment chemical persistence is assessed through a tiered system of degradation studies.
Analytical and environmental chemistry of toxins and bioactive metabolites from cyanobacteria...
Nitroaromatic explosives persist in the subsurface in different phases (e.g., bound to soil or sediment matrix or as solid-phase residues) and it is extremely challenging to assess biotic and mineral-catalyzed degradation. With the combined analysis of C, N, and H isotope fractionation, we can quantify transformation, even if it takes place via several potentially competing pathways over time-scales of decades.
Our research on fate of pharmaceuticals is motivated by investigating transformation pathways and kinetics to better understand the lifetime of such biologically active compounds in our freshwater Systems...
Predicting environment-specific biotransformation of chemical contaminants

Modelling

Reading biotransformation half-lives of agrochemicals across different compartments...
Identification and quantification of species in the vast and diverse universe of organic micropollutants is a daunting challenge for environmental sciences...
Site-specific chemical and bioassay monitoring of micropollutants (MPs) are desirable, but the large number and diversity of MPs, and the cost and technical issues of measuring them, make the exposure assessment challenging
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)....
In regulatory hazard and risk assessment chemical persistence is assessed through a tiered system of degradation studies.

Terminated projects

Urban areas

Im Fokus stehen Produktgruppen wie die Pflanzenschutzmittel, Biozide und Veterinärpharmaka.
Development of a difference analysis for LC-MS/MS data to identify polar transformation products and assessment of environmental relevance
SOLUTIONS for present and future emerging pollutants in land and water resources management
Managing micropollutants in surface waters in a transboundary context: On the way to appropriate management Units

Agriculture

According to the Swiss constitution, the Swiss agriculture has to fulfill several, partially conflicting goals such as agricultural production on the one hand and ...

Analysis

Identification of transformation products and assessment of environmental relevance
SOLUTIONS for present and future emerging pollutants in land and water resources management
Development of a difference analysis for LC-MS/MS data to identify polar transformation products and assessment of environmental relevance
The river Rhine and its tributaries are a source of drinking water for more than 20 million people. At the same time treated waste water from numerous industrial sites and from the 54 million people living in the catchment area ends up in the rivers...

Process studies

Identification of transformation products and assessment of environmental relevance
N-nitrosamines such as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) are of public and regulatory concern because these potent carcinogens can be formed as unintented by-products during drinking and waste water disinfection/oxidation.
The extension of the CSIA approach to micropollutants is challenging for both analytical and conceptual reasons. In a collaborative SNF-Sinergia project, we aim at elucidating the fate of pesticides by multi-element isotope analysis on the field scale.
A contemporary view of rivers recognizes them as having multiple vertical and lateral flow paths serving as bidirectional links to the surrounding landscape...

Modelling

Biodegradation simulation tests are an essential element of environmental risk assessment in most chemical regulations.
Managing micropollutants in surface waters in a transboundary context: On the way to appropriate management Units