Suspect screening and non-target analysis for the detection of compounds introtuced by diffuse sources

A large variety of organic micropollutants such as pharmaceuticals, pesticides, plasticizer, hormones and related transformation products are introduced into the aquatic environment and raise concern due to their potential impact on ecosystems and human health. This compounds can be introduced into the environment by their incomplete removal in wastewater treatment plants or by diffuse sources such as agricultural runoff or stormwater. Accurate mass high resolution mass spectrometry offers the potential of detecting analytes of a broad range of physicochemical properties at low concentration in one full scan measurement. The target-based environmental monitoring is recently complemented with untargeted qualitative screening approaches. This “nontarget screening” provides a more comprehensive overview about compounds present in a sample and enables the identification of formerly unknown contaminants. The related suspect screening approach enables the detection of compounds that are assumed to be present. Furthermore, temporal, spatial or process-based profiles of single compounds can be created to monitor the pollution over a long time period, identify sources or assess the impact of heavy rainfalls.


  • PhD student: Lotta Hohrenk
  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Torsten Schmidt (UDE, Chemistry)
  • Supervisor: Dr. Jochen Türk (IUTA Institut für Energie- und Umwelttechnik)
  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Bernd Sures (UDE, Biology)
  • Mentor: Dr. Andre Liesener (WWU Westfälische Wasser- und Umweltanalytik)