Soil and Water Protection

The protection of soil and water requires the characterisation of their quality, the identification of relevant pollution pathways and the most comprehensive possible detection of potentially hazardous components in incoming material flows, such as composts, sewage sludge or wastewater. We are successively expanding our organic and inorganic chemical trace analytics and effect-based analysis to include suspect and non-target methods. Using high-resolution LC-MS/MS, we record the entire mass spectrum of occurring substances. Also, using transcriptomics and proteomics, we record the mechanisms of action of all material loads that are present in effect-relevant concentrations in eluates of soil, compost or sewage sludge, or in water or wastewater samples. The local and regional biodiversity is recorded via e-DNA determinations and can be checked for a correlation with the contaminated material.

Research, development and services

Substance-related monitoring

●  Development of and consultation on sampling strategies for substance-related environmental monitoring

●  Problem-oriented sampling of water, soil, air and biota

● Trace analysis of metals in water, soil, dust samples and biological matrices

●  Elemental speciation analysis using GC-ICP/MS, IC-ICP/MS or HPLC-ICP/MS coupling

●  Species-specific isotope dilution analysis of organometalic compounds by GC-ICP/MS

●  Tracking of trace concentrations of organic contaminants in the water and sediment phase, in soil, air and in biological matrices

●  Method development for the identification and quantification of emerging contaminants

●  Analytical determination of hazardous contaminants at industrial and military sites

●  Preparation of environmental and biota (e.g. fish) samples and storage under cryogenic conditions

●  Use of monitoring data for the risk assessment of chemicals (bioaccumulation, long-range transport)

●  Assessment of the ecological impact of substances in biotic and abiotic matrices

Evaluation of media quality

●  Determination and assessment of the current state of soils: Physicochemical analysis, analysis of soil biocoenosis, ecotoxicological analysis, and impairment of ecosystem structures (biodiversity) and functions

●  Supply and distribution of reference soils for testing (Refesol program of the German Federal Environment Agency)

●  Determination and assessment of water quality using biomarkers (e.g. estrogen receptor tests, UMU tests, vitellogenin analysis), fish embryo assays, ecological monitoring of surface waters

●  Assessment of substance-related water quality, determi­nation and assessment of the concentration of problematic substances

●  Derivation of water quality objectives according to the European Water Framework Directive