In the recent years there has been increasing focus on mass balance approaches, i.e. looking not only at the primary pollutant but also at the compounds it can be transformed into (transformation products and metabolites).
Transformation products of organic compounds can be more toxic than their parent compounds. However, opposite to their parent compounds transformation products often are not regulated and data on fate and exposure are limited. It is thus important for environmental assessment to know under which conditions transformation products are formed, how toxic and persistent they are.
Transformation processes of organic contaminants in the environment, biota and in technical processes are gaining importance in science but also in risk and technology assessment. This also includes the elucidation of specific structures of the transformation products as it is often not the parent substances but their degradation products which can cause the most unwanted effects in the environment.
In the department in, we research both in what transformation products are formed and under what conditions, including the importance of the composition of degradation bacteria.