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Title: Mass spectrometric investigation of pharmaceuticals in environmental matrices : homogenate analysis
Author: Townsend, Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 1188
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2019
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In the last ten years there has been considerable focus on the impact of pollution on the environment driven by research and government policies. With particular interest in soils and environmental waters there is the need to monitor for a wide range of potential organic pollutants, including pesticides, personal care products and pharmaceuticals. The research focus has shifted to the study of wastewater, which has been largely un-investigated as an environmental matrix, with an aim to detect lower amounts than those achieved with current methods. Current approaches for analysing complex environmental matrices such as soil and wastewater effluent are typically multi-step analyses using a range of procedures and apparatus, resulting in methods that are time and resource consuming, unsuitable for high-throughput analysis. This study has investigated new approaches to monitoring concentrations of commonly used pharmaceuticals and biocides in environmental samples, as detailed by UK Water Industry Research and the Chemical Investigation Programme (CIP). A modified QuEChERS sample preparation method has been developed and tested for the extraction of a selection of pharmaceuticals of interest to CIP and extended to biocides, as newly proposed pollutants following an initial investigation in sludge. These were analysed, with results showing sixteen target analytes of variable lipophilicity/acidity were successfully extracted using the developed protocol. Excellent repeatability within a "control" sample of soil was achieved with a relative standard deviation of < 10% for the majority of pharmaceuticals and <15% for the biocides, with low matrix effects, and recovery values of between 40-75%. This method was applied to two samples of locally sourced treated sludgecake, two samples of homogenised biota (mussel tissue) and a sample of locally sourced treated effluent as part of a qualitative and quantitation study. A selection of pharmaceuticals and the suite of biocides were quantifiable within each sample matrix. This novel sample preparation method is labour-saving and cost effective, offering an improved approach for multiple sample matrices for high throughput analysis versus current protocols.
Supervisor: Godfrey, Ruth A. ; Brenton, Gareth A. ; Van Keulen, Geertje Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral