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Environmental Contaminants

Understanding the fate of organic contaminants after their release in the environment is fundamental to the accurate assessment of their environmental behavior and to the prediction of the associated risks. It is essential to ensure the safe use of existing/developing products and is also needed in order to design efficient and economically viable remediation strategies for contaminated soil and water.
Sorption and degradation are key processes affecting the fate of organic contaminants. Interactions with colloids are known to significantly affect those processes. Colloidal systems are technically challenging to study and there is still a poor understanding of the underlying mechanisms of interactions.
Our group develops and combines a range of approaches suitable to study those complex systems (e.g. passive sampling, column experiments). Tight links with the Nanogeoscience group allows extensive characterization of the systems studied to produce reliable and meaningful data.

Our research aims:

  • to elucidate the mechanisms of interactions between organic contaminants and natural/engineered colloids,
  • to develop prediction methods for situations where experimental data are not available, and
  • to analyze consequences in terms of environmental fate and remediation strategies.

Organic contaminants include a range of surfactant metabolites, PAHs, chlorinated compounds, and pesticides. Both natural and engineered colloidal systems are considered, including carbonaceous nanoparticles (e.g., fullerenes, carbon nanotubes), metallic nanoparticles (e.g., nanoscale zero-valent iron), and natural colloids (humic acids, clays, and oxides).

Department of Environmental Geosciences
University of Vienna

Althanstraße 14 UZAII
1090 Vienna
T: +43-1-4277-533 01
F: +43-1-4277-9 533
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0