Total PFAS analysis using Combustion Ion Chromatography



Date: 13:00:00 - Jun 23 2022
Speakers: Leo Yeung, Theresa Steurer, Iris Reber
Moderators: Tom Lynch CChem FRSC

PFASs (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances) are a class of almost 10.000 organofluorines. These man-made compounds - also designated «forever chemicals» – are highly persistent and at least some of them tend to accumulate and biomagnify in the environment. For that reason, more and more of these compounds are declared toxic as they pose a risk to human and environmental health.

In a joint eLearning session, Theresa Steurer and Iris Reber from Metrohm International Headquarters, Switzerland and Leo Yeung from Örebro University, Sweden present Combustion Ion Chromatography (CIC) as an innovative solution for rapid and straightforward screening of environmental samples for adsorbable organofluorine (AOF) and/or extractable organofluorine (EOF). Hence, this technique can provide an accurate picture of the overall contamination level before more expensive and time-consuming analytical techniques are deployed for targeted analysis of specific PFASs. CIC is a fully automated technique and can be a valuable tool for public authorities and any laboratories in general tasked with PFAS monitoring and the identification of hotspots.

Key learning objectives

  • Understanding combustion as an automated sample preparation technique for IC
  • Understanding the analytical procedures for CIC analysis of AOF and EOF
  • Understanding CIC as a robust, fully automated solution for PFAS monitoring

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Leo Yeung
Leo Yeung (School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Sweden.)

Leo Yeung is an associate professor (docent) at the MTM Research Centre, School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Sweden. His current research interests are to develop analytical method on measurement of PFAS including replacement products; to apply the organofluorine mass balance approach to understand current PFAS contamination in the environment using combustion ion chromatography; to identify and measure newly identified PFASs in environmental samples using LC-ToF MS and LC-MS/MS spectrometry techniques; and to study the fate and transport of unidentified PFASs in the environment. Leo joined the MTM Research Centre as a senior lecturer in 2016 and became an associate professor in 2018. He obtained B.Sc. (Environmental Life Science - 2003) at the University of Hong Kong, MPhil (Environmental Science - 2006) and PhD (Environmental Chemistry - 2009) at City University of Hong Kong; received post-doctoral training at City University of Hong Kong, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (Japan), and University of Toronto (Canada, 2010-2014). After that, he worked as a senior research associate at University of Toronto.

Theresa Steurer
Theresa Steurer (Metrohm International)

Theresa Steurer is an application specialist for ion chromatography at Metrohm International Headquarters in Herisau, Switzerland. She received her degree in chemistry from the University of Vienna. Theresa has worked for more than five years in the ion chromatography application laboratory, which has allowed her to gain extensive knowledge in this field. As a member of the Competence Centre Ion Chromatography at Metrohm International Headquarters, Theresa is responsible for Combustion Ion Chromatography.

Iris Reber
Iris Reber (Metrohm International Headquarters)

Iris Reber is a product specialist for ion chromatography at Metrohm International Headquarters in Switzerland. For over 10 years she has worked on a variety of projects in this field and has specialized amongst other on Combustion IC. Iris has finished her degree of Chemistry at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland and the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) in Spain.


Tom Lynch CChem FRSC
Tom Lynch CChem FRSC (International Labmate Ltd)

Tom has 35 years of experience in the petroleum industry, specialising in the delivery of forensic and problem solving /method development capabilities for BP Fuels and Lubricants businesses globally. He was also a member of the BP Science Council representing Analytical Science and led a BP wide Analytical Science network. Tom has published over 30 citable papers, 4 book chapters and has given over 60 presentations at conferences. He is a past Vice President of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Analytical Division and a past Chairman of the RSC Separation Science Group. In addition, Tom is a recipient of the Silver Jubilee Medal by the Chromatographic Society and a technical achievement award by the Energy Institute.

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