Emerging organic contaminants (EOCs) are: (i) newly developed compounds, (ii) compounds newly discovered in the environment – often due to recent development of analytical methods, (iii) compounds newly classified as contaminants. One group of EOCs is pharmaceuticals, which are chemicals used in human or veterinary medicine. Their presence in the environment has been recognized as a potential environmental threat. However, little is known about their fate in groundwater. The fate and transport of EOCs in aquifers strongly depends on the properties of the substances as well as of the aquifer itself. Decreasing EOC concentration can be either caused by dispersion, sorption or biodegradation. Specifically, the influence of hydro-geochemical conditions on the fate remains mostly unknown.
The objective of the thesis is to determine the sorption parameters and degradation rates of selected EOCs under variable hydro-geochemical conditions in controlled laboratory experiments.
The work will include: (i) conducting laboratory batch experiments, (ii) using LCMS for EOCs analysis, (iii) calculating sorption parameters and biodegradation rates.
The thesis will contribute to the PERSIST Project (Persistence and fate of emerging contaminants and multi-resistant bacteria in a continuum of surface water groundwater from the laboratory scale to the regional scale) funded by the BMBF in the framework of the Joint Programming Initiative Water. The objectives of the PERSIST project are to investigate the occurrence and the fate of pharmaceuticals in surface water/groundwater continuum. The PERSIST consortium joints three partner institutions: University of Nimes, Catalan Institute for Water Research and Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU). The specific objective of work package fulfilled at HMGU is to study the impact of flow velocities on sorption and degradation of EOCs in well controlled laboratory column experiment. The batch experiment will complement the study, giving additional information about the influence of further hydro-geochemical conditions on the fate of selected pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Aleksandra Kiecak, PD Dr. Christine Stumpp
The master student’s office is in Munich (Helmholtz Zentrum München, Institute of Groundwater Ecology).
Aleksandra Kiecak, firstname.lastname@example.org, +49 89 3187 2916 PD Dr. Christine Stumpp, email@example.com, +49-89-3187-4165
Lab work, chemical analysis, interdisciplinary research question
- Kodesova, R., Grabic, R., Kocarek, M., Klement, A., Golovko, O., Fer, M., Nikodem, A. and Jaksik, O. (2015) Pharmaceuticals' sorptions relative to properties of thirteen different soils. Sci Total Environ 511, 435-443. - Lapworth, D.J., Baran, N., Stuart, M.E. and Ward, R.S. (2012) Emerging organic contaminants in groundwater: A review of sources, fate and occurrence. Environ Pollut 163(0), 287-303. - OECD (2010) Test No. 106: Adsorption – Desorption Using Batch Equilibrium Method, OECD Publishing, Paris. - Scheytt, T., Mersmann, P., Lindstadt, R. and Heberer, T. (2005) Determination of sorption coefficients of pharmaceutically active substances carbamazepine, diclofenac, and ibuprofen, in sandy sediments. Chemosphere 60(2), 245-253.