The research focus of our department lies on the analysis of low molecular mass organic compounds in the environment (environmental analysis) and on laboratory studies of their distribution and transformation properties and reaction conditions that are relevant for the environment and for environmental technical processes (environmental chemistry). The development of methods for environmental analysis is guided by our principal research topics in environmental chemistry and biogeochemistry.
We do not only examine pollutants or xenobiotics but also natural substances of biogenic and geogenic origin which can be found in soil, sediments and water. Our hypothesis is that eventually natural and anthropogenic substances are involved in the same process chains and cycles of substances ("environmental chemical dynamics").
A long-term research task is to detect differences and conformities in the environmental behaviour of natural and anthropogenic substances and to give evidence for their potential interactions and exchange processes in the particular segments of these cycles.
The chemical cycles of substances of many compartments of the ecological system are not completely known however. Thus, research on the behaviour of chemicals does not only belong to the discipline of environmental chemistry, but also to other subdisciplines of environmental science:
There is no borderline between environmental chemistry on the one hand and the compartment specific subdisciplines "water chemistry", "soil chemistry", "atmosphere chemistry" and "environmental geochemistry" on the other hand. As a consequence, we cooperate with other departments of our faculty working in this field and conjointly offer bachelor, master and doctoral theses.