Germany’s Swimming Professor chooses SCIEX QTRAP® technology for ground-breaking Rhine river water decontamination

November 13, 2014

SCIEX, a global leader in life science analytical technologies, has announced that ‘The Swimming Professor’, Prof. Dr. Andreas Fath of the University of Furtwangen, Germany, has chosen the SCIEX QTRAP® 4000 System to support his novel research into identification and electrochemical decomposition of river water contaminants in the Rhine. The initial results from his research are being presented at the 7th Annual Hansgrohe Water Symposium today in Schiltach, Germany

Prof. Fath and his team are using the QTRAP® System to obtain accurate information about the identity and concentration of contaminants in the Rhine, before and after electrochemical decontamination. The decontamination is carried out using a device designed by Prof. Fath to decompose fluorinated surfactants found in wastewater. The performance of the QTRAP® instrument is critical to the project, as the instrument has been used as part of this research to determine the levels of chemicals such as contraceptive agents, sweeteners and x-ray contrast agents in the river.

"We chose the QTRAP because it is a selective and sensitive platform that we can use to identify, characterize and quantitate contaminants quickly and easily," said Prof. Fath. "In combination with our electrochemical decomposition device, it would allow us to safely treat hundreds of litres of wastewater, as we depend on the QTRAP system to determine the type and quantity of fragments produced as a result of our electrochemical decomposition."

"Our decomposition device is a sustainable technology that uses energy from the sun to generate electrical current," Prof. Fath added. Prof Fath is targeting contaminants that local sewage treatment plants are currently unable to destroy.

The ‘Swimming Professor’ earned his nickname following his 1,231 km sponsored swim along the River Rhine, which raised awareness of the need for his research, and attracted sponsorship to buy new water analysis equipment for the University of Furtwangen. Throughout his swim he collected samples for analysis, using a microplastic membrane attached to his leg.

Prof. Schofer, the Rector of Furtwangen University said of the project, "We see this as the beginning of an exciting scientific partnership between Furtwangen University and SCIEX."


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