Investigation of emerging contaminants in environmental waters - Development of a multi-residue analytical method


Agilent Technologies

Australian Government

Macquarie Uni

Date: 02:00:00 - Nov 03 2016
Speakers: Yvonne Yin
Moderators: Rachael Simpson

Emerging contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals, are a growing environmental concern.  These contaminants have been detected in environmental waters (such as surface water, ground and wastewater flows) at concentrations ranging from µg L-1 to ng L-1 level.  The majority are unregulated in the environment and as a result the risk assessment and ecotoxicological effect of the contaminants, their metabolites and/or transformation products are relatively unknown.

To meet the prerequisite of proper monitoring and risk evaluation of emerging contaminants, the development of a sensitive multi-residue screening analytical method for emerging contaminants in complex environmental matrices was undertaken.  The first part of the study involved developing a UHPLC-QTOF-MS method for the analysis of a mixture of pharmaceuticals in water.  The method was then expanded to include an on-line SPE pre-concentration step in the second part of the study.

The method has successfully analysed standards in Type I water, and was carried over with relative success to wastewater flows.  Applications of this method to further environmental water studies could yield qualitative and quantitative information of emerging contaminants, and their transformation products.


- What are emerging contaminants and why we should be concerned about it?

- Development of an analytical method on a LC-QTOF/MS (including optimisation of source parameters)

- Development of an on-line SPE method on LC-QTOF/MS


- Anyone interested in learning about Environmental analysis and in developing analytical methods on a LC-QTOF/MS.

- Environmental Scientists, Laboratory Managers, Directors and Supervisors

- Laboratory technicians and operators

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Yvonne Yin
Yvonne Yin (Organics | Analytical Services Branch | National Measurement Institute)

My current role is as a laboratory analyst for the Organics – Analytical Services Branch at the National Measurement Institute (NMI). I have been with the NMI since the final year of my Master’s degree where I worked in collaboration with NMI, Macquarie University, and Agilent Technologies Australia on a research project involving developing and validating a LC-QTOF/MS method for pharmaceuticals in water. I am currently working at NMI on the development and validation of other analytical methods for trace organic analytes.


Rachael Simpson
Rachael Simpson (Environmental Technology)

Editor for International Environmental Technology, Asian Environmental Technology and Petro Industry News.

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