Catalan Water Research Institute research and innovation for the sustainable use of water

EC-FATE: Advances in Monitoring and Analytical Screening Techniques for Better Knowledge of the Fate of Emerging Groundwater Contaminants

Monday, 02 October 2023

Last September 2023, the EC-FATE project was launched, led by Josep Mas-Pla and Meritxell Gros, and which for three years will develop advances in monitoring and analytical screening techniques to better understand the fate of pollutants emerging from groundwater.

EC-FATE is part of the ADVANCE4WATER project ( Advances in the fate, impact and remediation of pollutants for water sustainability ), coordinated between the University of Barcelona, ​​the University of Castilla-La Mancha and ICRA-CERCA, and which received the Aid 2022 Knowledge Generation Projects (Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities).

The ICRA-CERCA EC-FATE sub-project addresses two topics of high interest. First, improve analytical methods to detect a wider range of emerging contaminants (ECs) and at even lower concentrations thanks to advanced screening methods such as UHPLC coupled to high-resolution HRMS. Second, increase the ability to predict the presence of ECs, especially pharmaceuticals, in groundwater. These objectives are key in the design of correct monitoring of water quality and in the implementation of management plans against EC pollution, an objective shared by multiple governing bodies at different institutional levels.

Pollution of water resources is a major threat to human and environmental health. ADVANCE4WATER seeks a better understanding of pollution by nitrates, halogenated volatile organic compounds and emerging pollutants such as pesticides and active pharmaceutical compounds (PhACs) and their environmental impact in different hydrogeological environments. In addition, it aims to develop advanced low-cost remediation techniques for different pollutants, an important step in mitigating the environmental impacts of these compounds.