We are interested in environmental affairs and all questions concerning the sustainability within the context of the life cycle of chemicals, starting with the raw material itself and going on to the synthesis and the use to end up with the environmental fate of chemical substances and products after their usage. Beyond the chemical substances and products themselves, we are also interested in the associated material flows, especially when it comes to the so-called strategic resources (e. g. phosphate, rare earth metals).

We investigate the fate (e. g. identification of relevant sources) in the environment as well as the spread and the behavior of chemicals (e. g. spread, biological and photochemical degradation) in the aquatic environment in the sense of a sustainable water management. This is why we want to record their effects (e. g. genotoxicity, mutagenity, and bacteria toxicity). At present we are focusing on

  • pesticides,
  • pharmaceuticals,
  • textile auxiliary agents and
  • nanoparticles.

In this respect we also focus on problems which may result from an incomplete degradation of the mentioned substances (non-degradable transformation products) in the water and wastewater treatment as well as in the aquatic environment.

One main issue is then to come to a conclusion how to reduce the environmental impact of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and products right at the beginning of their life cycle. Therefore a comprehensive understanding of the functionality including the environmental properties of chemical substances and products is important. Our main focus is the concept of Benign by Design which is the development of a specific design of new chemicals and pharmaceuticals prior to their first synthesis in order to achieve a sustainable functionality.

For all investigations of the behavior and effects of chemical substances in the aquatic environment as well as for the Benign by Design concept, our work in the following research fields is based on experiments, but also on computer models (chemical informatics and hydrologic modeling):

  • trace analysis
  • modelling of material properties and behaviour toxicology and
  • ecotoxicology degradation tests

Professorship for Sustainable Chemistry and Material Resources