On-Line Sample Concentration Coupled with LC-MS/MS Orbitrap HRMS for the EU Water Framework Directive: Target Quantitation and Non-Targeted Screening of PFAS and Other Priority Environmental Contaminants in Water

New Organic Monitoring Techniques (Session 2)
Oral Presentation

Prepared by E. George1, O. Scheibner2, N. Llewellyn3, M. Jech4, C. Jacob1
1 - Thermo Fisher Scientific, 355 River Oaks Parkway, San Jose, CA, 95134, United States
2 - Thermo Fisher Scientific, , , Drieiech, Germany
3 - Thermo Fisher Scientific, , Hemel Hempstead, , United Kingdom
4 - Thermo Fisher Scientific, , Praha, , Czech Republic

Contact Information: [email protected]; 408-300-4267


Similar to the situation in North America, the water quality in Europe and the general environmental health of surface water bodies is a subject on ongoing concern. Subsequently, the Chemical Investigation’s Third Programme (CIP3) was established by the UK Water Industry and UK Water Industry Research in response to the European emerging legislation on surface water quality. The delivery of CIP3 will improve the understanding of how wastewater treatment plants are discharging into coastal and transitional water bodies and reduce uncertainties with respect to specific substances and the effectiveness of removal processes, as well as recognizing the additional complexity of emerging issues.

A key aspect of this regulation is the rapid trace-level determination of substances of emerging concern as identified by the UK Environmental Agency as high priority in wastewater influents and effluents. The list contains a number of pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals as well as legacy and emerging PFAS compounds. Validation data for the direct analysis of these contaminants at sub-ng/L limits of detection using on-line solid phase extraction coupled to an Orbitrap high resolution mass spectrometer will be discussed.

This work also includes a discussion of advances in sample processing with automatic preparation of calibrants and samples, as well as data acquisition workflows allowing concurrent data collection for both target quantitation and non-target screening purposes. Lastly, the use of the same instrumental workflow combined with Thermo Scientific™ Compound Discoverer™ software for non-targeted analysis will be discussed using a case study exploring the detection of illicit drugs in wastewater effluent.