This Unit focuses its research on the presence, impact and fate of organic pollutants in the water cycle, terrestrial environment, biota, food and humans, including not only those that are regulated in the legislation (priority contaminants), such as pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, alkylphenols, phthalates, brominated flame retardants but also contaminants of recent identification (contaminants of emerging concern), such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, chlorinated paraffins, organophosphate plasticizers, drugs of abuse and perfluorinated compounds for which environmental occurrence and ecotoxicity data are very scarce. This involves their monitoring in field samples and assessment of their degradation/metabolism in different types of water matrices, particulate matter, sediments, soils, sewage sludge, air, aquatic and terrestrial organisms, crops, food and biological samples from humans. It further deals with the bioaccesibility, bioaccumulation and biomagnification through the food web of contaminants in biota and humans. This research line has a long history of monitoring activities, which have been carried out in very diverse areas, going from remote areas (for instance, the Antarctic) to local rivers. The research group has broad experience in coordinating national and international research projects funded by the European Commission, other International Institutions, and the Spanish Government. In addition, it has many contracts with public and private entities (e.g. Catalan Water Agency-ACA and Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona -AGBAR).

  • Determination of occurrence, fate and behavior of priority contaminants in the environment, food stuff and human samples
  • Study of occurrence and impact of organic pollutants of emerging concern, nanomaterials and natural products in the environment, food stuff and human samples
  • Evaluation of uptake, bioaccumulation, biomagnification and metabolism of priority and contaminants of emerging concern in biota, crops and humans
  • Impact of marine plastic debris on marine biota
  • Evaluation of the impact of pollution of the reclaimed water in the agriculture and aquifers replenishment
  • Assessment of the transformation of pollutants of emerging concern in engineered systems and in the aquatic environment (rivers, aquifers and oceans)
  • Identification and analysis of emerging disinfection by-products (DBPs) in water and evaluation of their generation in drinking water facilities
  • Estimation of alcohol and drugs consumption through sewage epidemiology
  • Targeted and non-targeted metabolomics
  • Environmental risk assessment

Research Facilities

Instrumentation for chemical analysis

Sample collection, preparation and extraction:

  • Portable automatic water sampler Isco 6712c (Teledyne ISCO)
  • Automated solid phase extraction (SPE): off-line ASPEC GX-271 (Gilson)
  • On-line PROSPEKT (Spark Holland) coupled to LC-QqQ-MS
  • On-line Symbiosis PICO (Spark Holland) coupled to LC-QLIT-MS
  • Turbulent flow chromatography (TurboFlow, Thermo Fisher) coupled to LC-QqQ-MS
  • EQuan (Thermo Fisher Scientific) coupled to LC-QqQ-MS
  • Pressurized liquid extraction – ASE 350 (Dionex) and ONE PSE (Applied Separations)

LC-MS

  • LC-QLIT-MS, Q-Trap 4000 Q-TRAP (Sciex)
  • UPLC-QqQ-MS, TQD (Waters)
  • LC-QqQ-MS, TSQ Vantage (Thermo Fisher Scientific)
  • UHLPC-Orbitrap-MS, Q-Exactive (Thermo Electron)
  • UPLC-Triple-TOF-MS, X500R (Sciex)

Analysis by MALDI-TOF-MS imaging:

AuToFlex III MALDI-TOF/TOF instrument (Bruker Daltonik GmbH,Bremen, Germany) equipped with a Smartbeam laser at 200 Hz laser at the “medium focus” setting and were controlled using FlexControl 3.0 (Bruker Daltonik GmbH).

Ecotox and biosensors lab

  • Microtox® system (Azur)
  • ToxAlert 100 (Merck)
  • Abratox Camera (Abraxis)
  • Incubators with lateral illumination (Aqualytic)
  • Spectrophotometer (Jenway 6062)
  • Swift M10 Advanced Binocular Microscope
  • Cellular toxicity suit
  • Cell-Insight NxT reader (Thermo)
  • Biosensor:Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) platform Reichert – SR7500DC SPR-System
  • CellCense – Amperometric whole cell biosensor
  • Plate readers and washers for immunoassays

Experimental facilities

  • Greenhouse
  • Fish tanks
  • Artificial recharge pilot plant
  • Agricultural plots

MARadentro

Managed aquifer recharge: addressing the risks of recharging regenerated water (MARadentro)

Start Date: 01/01/19

ENFOCAR

ENFOCAR (Enfoque innovador para la detección de sustancias citotóxicas y reprotóxicas en agua regenerada y potable)

Start Date: 01/09/18

PLAS-MED

PLAS-MED – MicroPLASticos y Microcontaminantes en la costa MEDiterranea: Toxicidad e Impacto ambiental y en la salud humana MINECO CTM2017-89701-C3-1-R

Start Date: 01/01/18

2017 SGR 01404 – Calidad de aguas y suelos

Suport als grups de recerca consolidats “2017 SGR 01404 – Calidad de aguas y suelos”

Start Date: 01/01/18

ROUSSEAU

Riesgos emergentes de contaminacion quimica y microbiológica en la reutilizacion de aguas residuales para riego agrícola: estudio integrado (ROUSSEAU) Ref. CTM2017-89767-C3-1-R

Start Date: 01/01/18

Análisis del potencial de antibiosis de la biomasa de bofedales altoandinos en la Reserva Nacional de Salinas y Aguada Blanca, Arequipa, Perú (Ref. MHE-200050)

Análisis del potencial de antibiosis de la biomasa de bofedales altoandinos en la Reserva Nacional de Salinas y Aguada Blanca, Arequipa, Perú (Ref. MHE-200050)

Start Date: 01/01/18

SEAFOODTOMORROW

Nutritious, safe and sustainable seafood for consumers of tomorrow (SEAFOODTOMORROW) (H2020-Project ID: 773400).

Start Date: 01/11/17

AWARE

ASSESSING THE FATE OF PESTICIDES AND WATERBORNE CONTAMINANTS IN AGRICULTURAL CROPS AND THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS

Start Date: 01/10/17

BAMAR

BAMAR – RED ESPAÑOLA SOBRE BASURAS MARINAS

Start Date: 01/07/17

WATERPROTECT

WATERPROTECT “Innovative tools enabling drinking WATER PROTECTion in rural and urban environments”

Start Date: 01/06/17

Directiva Marco del Agua – Análisis de compuestos plaguicidas polares en la red de control de les aguas subterráneas.

Directiva Marco del Agua – Análisis de compuestos plaguicidas polares en la red de control de les aguas subterráneas.

Start Date: 01/06/17

NaToxAq

NaToxAq – Natural Toxins and Drinking Water Quality – From Source to Tap

Start Date: 01/01/17

XENOMETABOLOMIC

XENOMETABOLOMIC (CTM2015-73179-JIN) (AEI/FEDER/UE).

Start Date: 01/01/17

ESAR-NET

Red Española para el análisis de aguas residuales con fines epidemiológicos (ESAR-NET) (CTM2016-81935-REDT).

Start Date: 01/01/17

BIGLY (ANR)

Potential of river biofilms for the degradation of the herbicide glyphosate (BIGLY)

Start Date: 01/01/17

BECAS

Development of analytical methodologies for determination of pesticides in water and soils and their application in the evaluation of new environmental bioremediation processes (BECAS) (grant number CTM2016-75587-C2-2-R).

Start Date: 30/12/16

Evaluación del potencial de formación de diversos subproductos de desinfección (DBPs) emergentes del agua de las diferentes plantas de tratamiento de ATLL CGC y en sus diversas etapas (DBP-POFOREM-I and DBP-POFOREM-II)

This project was done in the framework of two collaboration contracts stablished with ATLL CGC to investigate the formation potential of different classes of emerging (not regulated) DBPs of the waters produced at their different treatment plants and present in the distribution network. The DBP classes investigated included haloacetic acids, haloacetamides, haloacetonitriles, iodinated trihalomethanes and trihalogenated haloacetaldehydes.

Start Date: 01/09/16

ACWAPUR

Accelerated water purification during artificial recharge of aquifers – a tool to restore drinking water resources (ACWAPUR) – PCIN-2015-245.

Start Date: 01/01/16

Estudio de distribución de fármacos de uso veterinario en sistemas de agua dulce en Argentina y su bioacumulación en peces comestibles, capturados a campo y en sistemas de acuacultura.

Estudio de distribución de fármacos de uso veterinario en sistemas de agua dulce en Argentina y su bioacumulación en peces comestibles, capturados a campo y en sistemas de acuacultura.

Start Date: 01/01/16

Nano-Transfer

Nano-Transfer – Transfer of Nanomaterials in the aquatic environment

Start Date: 31/12/15

IODIPRO

IODIPRO – Iodinated disinfection byproducts under climate change derived scenarios: water scarcity and seawater intrusion

Start Date: 01/10/15

SOLAR

Transferencia de filtros SOLares UV madre-hijo a través de la LActancia materna (SOLAR Ref. 2015801004)

Start Date: 01/10/15

NET-SCARCE

Consolider Research Network on the effects of water scarcity and global change on river systems (NET-SCARCE) (Redes de Excelencia CTM2015-69780-REDC).

Start Date: 01/01/15

INTERWASTE

Synergising International research Studies into the environmental Fate and Behaviour of Toxic Organic Chemicals in the Waste Stream (INTERWASTE) (H2020-MSCA-RISE/0253).

Start Date: 01/12/14

FLAME

Estudio de los contaminantes retardantes de llama en la red trófica del Golfo de Cádiz: Implicaciones para la conservación (FLAME) (Loro Parque Foundation). 13.600 €

Start Date: 01/12/14

SCORE

Analysis CoRe group Europe (SCORE)-ES1307 Action

Start Date: 14/04/14

GLOBAQUA

European Project

Managing the effects of multiple stressors on aquatic ecosystems under water scarcity (GLOBAQUA)

Start Date: 01/02/14

Integra-Coast

Integra-Coast – Emerging contaminants, Nanomaterials and Microplastics in rivers, estuaries and coastal waters: Integrated Study

Start Date: 01/01/14

2014 SGR 418 – Calidad de aguas y suelos

Suport als grups de recerca consolidats “2014 SGR 418 – Calidad de aguas y suelos”

Start Date: 01/01/14

Optimization of Methods Employing MSPD and QuEChERS, GC-MS and LC-MS / MS for Determination of Pesticides Waste in Food

Optimization of Methods Employing MSPD and QuEChERS, GC-MS and LC-MS / MS for Determination of Pesticides Waste in Food

Start Date: 01/01/14

StARE

Stopping Antibiotic Resistance Evolution (StARE)

Start Date: 01/01/14

Sea-on-a-Chip

Real time monitoring of SEA contaminants by an autonomous Lab-on-a-chip biosensor (SEA-on-a-CHIP)

Start Date: 01/12/13

BRAAVOO

BRAAVOO – Biosensors, Reporters and Algal Autonomous Vessels for Ocean Operation

Start Date: 01/11/13

SOLUTIONS

Solutions for present and future emerging pollutants in land and water resources management

Start Date: 01/10/13

ECSafeSeaFood

European Project

Priority environmental contaminants in seafood: safety assessment, impact and public perception (ECSafeSeaFood)

Start Date: 01/02/13

Qualidade da água e de alimentos: estudos analíticos avançados para investigação de resíduos de fármacos, agrotóxicos bem como seus respectivos metabólitos e produtos de degradação em amostras ambientais e em alimentos. (Nº 61/2011)

Qualidade da água e de alimentos: estudos analíticos avançados para investigação de resíduos de fármacos, agrotóxicos bem como seus respectivos metabólitos e produtos de degradação em amostras ambientais e em alimentos. (Nº 61/2011)

Start Date: 01/01/13

Toxicokinetics of biocides used in anti-fouling systems

Toxicokinetics of biocides used in anti-fouling systems

Start Date: 01/01/13

H2PHARMA

Fungi, algae and bacteria for the degradation of pharmaceutical compounds. Treatment of Hospital effluents by fungi (H2PHARMA)

Start Date: 01/01/13

4FUN

4FUN – The FUture of FUlly integrated human exposure assessment of chemicals: Ensuring the long-term viability and technology transfer of the EU-FUNded 2-FUN tools as standardized solution 308440

Start Date: 01/09/12

Che-WADISBYPRO

Che-WADISBYPRO – Chemical evaluation of drinking water disinfection byproducts

Start Date: 16/01/12

RITMARE

RITMARE flagship project is the leading national marine research project for the period 2012-2016

Start Date: 01/01/12

Nano-Trojan

Nano-Trojan – NANOMATERIALES ORGANICOS EN EL MEDIO AMBIENTE: CARACTERIZACION, ANALISIS, EFECTO TROYANO Y RIESGOS MINECO CTM2011-24051

Start Date: 01/09/11

CYTOTHREAT

Fate and effects of cytostatic pharmaceuticals in the environment and identification of biomarkers for an improved risk assessment on environmental exposure (CYTOTHREAT)

Start Date: 01/01/11

IMPAR

Evaluación del impacto sobre la fauna del Parque Nacional de Doñana asociado al uso de nuevos contaminantes retardantes de llama (IMPAR)

Start Date: 01/12/10

CSI-Environment

Isotope forensics meets biogeochemistry linking sources and sinks of organic contaminants by compound specific isotope investigation

Start Date: 01/11/10

ECOTOXTOOLS

Ferramentas ecotoxicológicas para a avaliação do risco ambiental associado a actividades agrícolas, em grandes albufeiras do Sul de Portugal (ECOTOXTOOLS)

Start Date: 01/06/10

ENSAT

Enhancement of Soil Aquifer Treatment to Improve the Quality of Recharge Water in the Llobregat River Delta Aquifer (ENSAT) [009/RNO8/-01.1]

Start Date: 01/01/10

SCARCE

Evaluación y predicción de los efectos del cambio global en la cantidad y la calidad del agua en ríos ibéricos (SCARCE) [CSD2009-00065]

Start Date: 17/12/09

BROMACUA

Presencia de contaminantes orgánicos prioritarios y emergentes en lodos de EDAR y su biodegradación por hongos (MMAMRM-010/PC08/3-04.1)

Start Date: 01/01/09

SGR-DGR

Suport als grups de recerca (SGR-DGR (2009-SGR-965.)

Start Date: 01/01/09

VIECO

Desarrollo y validación de plataformas integradas de vigilancia biológica y quimica optimizadas económicamente (VIECO) [009/RNO8/-01.1]

Start Date: 01/10/08

CEMAGUA

Estudio de la presencia y destino de Contaminantes Emergentes en AGUAs subterráneas y superficiales y desarrollo de herramientas analíticas para su control medioambiental (CEMAGUA)

Start Date: 01/10/07

SOSTAQUA

Desarrollos tecnológicos hacia un Ciclo del Agua Urbano Autosostenible (SOSTAQUA)

Start Date: 01/01/07

INNOVA-MED

INNOVA-MED Innovative processes and practices for wastewater treatment and re-use in the Mediterranean region

Start Date: 01/01/07

RISKBASE

Integrated risk based management of the water-sediment-soil system at river-basin scale (RISKBASE-036938).

Start Date: 01/01/06

AQUATERRA

European Project

Integrated modelling of the river-sediment-soil-groundwater system. Global Change and Ecosystems Integrated Project (AQUATERRA-GOCE 505428).

Start Date: 01/01/04

NOMIRACLE

Novel methods for integrated risk assessment of cumulative stressors in the environment (NOMIRACLE -003956-2).

Start Date: 01/01/04

PHYTOHEALTH

Improving health through dietary phytoestrogens: A Pan-European network on consumer’s issues and opportunities for producers (PHYTOHEALTH-QLK5-CT-2002-02453)

Start Date: 01/01/03

ARTDEMO

Artificial recharge demonstration project (ARTDEMO-EVK1-CT2002-00114).

Start Date: 01/01/02


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