Environmental Chemistry


The department for Environmental Chemistry is equipped with techniques and instruments for the trace analysis of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and emerging contaminants in a variety of environmental matrices like sediment, water, air, and biota as well as mercury and its species in the atmosphere. The mass spectrometric (MS) determination of organic compounds is based on low resolution single and tandem MS instruments coupled to gas or liquid chromatography. Atmospheric mercury is determined with automated analyzers in the gas- and particulate phase using atomic fluorescence (AF) and atomic absorption (AA) spectroscopy.


  • High and low-volume sampling equipment for surface water
  • Sampling equipment for sediment and biota
  • High-volume sampling equipment for air
  • Autonomous low-volume sampling system for ambient air
  • Passive samplers for ambient air

Sample preparation

  • Cleanroom (approx. 100 m2) for organic trace analysis
  • Liquid/liquid- and liquid/solid-extraction techniques, e.g. solid phase extraction (SPE) or accelerated solvent extraction (ASE, Dionex ASE 200)
  • Cleanup- and automated concentration techniques

Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)

  • GC-MS (EI, CI), Agilent Technologies 5973, Agilent Technologies 5975
  • GC-MS/MS (EI, CI), Agilent Technologies 7000

Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS)

  • LC-MS/MS (ESI, APCI), Applied Biosystems API 4000, HPLC Agilent Technologies 1100
  • LC-MS/MS (ESI, APCI), Agilent Technologies 6490, UHPLC Agilent Technologies 1290

Automated in-situ analysers for mercury and its species

  • Mercury analyzer type Tekran 2537A/B (atomic fluorescence)
  • Mercury analyzer type LUMEX RA-915-AM (atomic absorption)
  • Mercury Speciation Unit type Tekran 1100 and 1135 in combination with Tekran 2537 A/B (differentiated concentration measurement of gaseous elemental mercury, reactive gaseous mercury, and particle bound mercury)