Poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS)

PFAS have been detected on contaminated agricultural soils loaded with compost and fibers from paper industry. Details on PFAS products and their environmental fate are largely unkown. Therefore, we are applying nontarget screening approaches with LC-high-resolution mass spectrometry and Kendrick mass analysis to screen environmental samples for PFAS products and transformation products. We apply electrochemical oxidation and simulated sunlight experiments to characterize PFAS contamination and to investigate the fate of PFAS in the field.

PFAS in consumer products: Characterization of PFAS and their TP formation potential by LC-HRMS and oxidation methods (DBU, 2021-2023)

FluorTECH: Fluorinated compounds from technical products in paper production – Evaluation of transformation, transport and formation potential by innovative analytical methods (BWplus, PTKA 2019-2021)

EOFplus: Optimization of EOF analysis taking various classes of poly and perfluorinated compounds into consideration – Non target screening and electrochemical oxidation (BWplus, PTKA 2019-2021)

Collaboration partners: Frank Sacher, Technologiezentrum Wasser (TZW), Karlsruhe; Martin Schlummer, Fraunhofer-Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung (IVV), Freising; Jörn Breuer, Landwirtschaftliches Technologiezentrum Augustenberg (LTZ), Karlsruhe; Urs Berger, Helmholtz Zentrum für Umweltforschung (UFZ), Leipzig


  • Bugsel, B.; Bauer, R.; Herrmann, F.; Maier, M. E.; Zwiener, C., LC-HRMS screening of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in impregnated paper samples and contaminated soils. Anal Bioanal Chem 2022, 414, 1217-1225.
  • Zweigle, J.; Bugsel, B.; Schmitt, M.; Zwiener, C., Electrochemical Oxidation of 6:2 Polyfluoroalkyl Phosphate Diester—Simulation of Transformation Pathways and Reaction Kinetics with Hydroxyl Radicals. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2021, 55, (16), 11070-11079.
  • Bugsel, B.; Zwiener, C., LC-MS screening of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances in contaminated soil by Kendrick mass analysis. Anal Bioanal Chem 2020, 412, 4797-4805.
  • Janda, J., Nödler, K., Scheurer, M., Happel, O., Nürenberg, G., Zwiener, C. and Lange, F.T. (2019) Closing the gap – inclusion of ultrashort-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids in the total oxidizable precursor (TOP) assay protocol. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts (21), 1926-1935.
  • Janda, J., Nödler, K., Brauch, H.-J., Zwiener, C. and Lange, F.T. (2018) Robust trace analysis of polar (C2-C8) perfluorinated carboxylic acids by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry: method development and application to surface water, groundwater and drinking water. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 26, 7326-7336.