Analytica 2024: A Look at Anthropogenic Emissions

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At Analytica 2024 in Munich, Germany, an afternoon oral session took place titled, “Tracking Anthropogenic Emissions: Environmental Analysis of Elements, Organic Trace Chemicals and Isotopes (GDCh).” During the session, experts presented four talks that covered the latest developments of detecting organic trace chemicals and isotopes in environmental samples.

Hands protecting globe of green tree on tropical nature summer background, Ecology and Environment concept | Image Credit: © ipopba - stock.adobe.com.

Hands protecting globe of green tree on tropical nature summer background, Ecology and Environment concept | Image Credit: © ipopba - stock.adobe.com.

The first talk was titled, “Journeys Through Time for Chemical Safety and Environmental Protection with the German Environmental Specimen Bank.” It was delivered by Jan Koschorreck of UBA. Koschorreck’s talk focused on how the German Environmental Specimen Bank (ESB) has archived samples of inland water, terrestrial, and coastal ecosystems since the 1990s (1). In the talk, Koschorreck discussed how these historical samples can be analyzed at any time using several analytical methods, and how these samples can help us understand more about current trends in environmental science (1).

The second talk was titled, “Non-Target-Screening – a collective tool of the future for describing trace substance dynamics in the environment,” and it was delivered by Wolfgang Schulz of Hochschule Aalen. In his talk, Schulz discusses using liquid chromatography coupled with high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) in non-target analysis applications (2). Schulz concluded in his talk that using LC-HRMS allows for novel methods to be developed for water analysis, which has only contributed to the overall improvement of non-target analysis in environmental samples (2,3).

The third talk was titled, “New Prospects in LC Hyphenation of Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry to Trace Origin and Fate of Anthropogenic Compounds.” It was delivered by Torsten Schimdt of the University Duisburg-Essen. In his talk, Schmidt discussed compound-specific stable isotope analysis (CSIA), which is a technique used to analyze small isotope ratio variations of individual compounds within complex mixtures that offers valuable insights into the sources and fate of organic compounds (4). Schmidt also discussed the limitations of LC-IRMS, and how because it is limited to aqueous eluents, restricting the use of established chromatographic separations utilizing organic eluents is restricted (4).

Finally, to conclude the session, Stefan Voorspoels of Vito will delivered a talk titled, “The Battle Between PFAS Analysis and Legislation: An Update from the Belgian Frontline.” In his talk, Voorspoels discusses PFAS analysis and the need for robust analytical methods to identify and quantify PFAS to ensure compliance with EU regulations (5). He summarized the current state of PFAS analysis methods, highlighting the importance of further method development and what current studies indicate about the future of PFAS analysis (5).

References

(1) Koschorreck, J. Journeys Through Time for Chemical Safety and Environmental Protection with the German Environmental Specimen Bank. Presented at Analytica 2024, in Munich, Germany, April 10th, 2024.

(2) Schulz, W. Non-Target-Screening – a Collective Tool of the Future for Describing Trace Substance Dynamics in the Environment. Presented at Analytica 2024, in Munich, Germany, April 10th, 2024.

(3) Federal Environment Agency (2021): Methodology for the Application of Non-target Screening (NTS) using LC-MS/MS in water monitoring, Dessau-Roßlau. http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/publikationen (accessed 2024-03-27).

(4) Schmidt, T. New Prospects in LC Hyphenation of Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry to Trace Origin and Fate of Anthropogenic Compounds. Presented at Analytica 2024, in Munich, Germany, April 10th, 2024.

(5) Voorspoels, S. The Battle Between PFAS Analysis and Legislation: An Update from the Belgian Frontline. Presented at Analytica 2024, in Munich, Germany, April 10th, 2024.

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