An integrated approach for the detection of undesirable perfluorinated substances in the water cycle

The presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment, and specifically in the water cycle, is considered a hazard for humans and the environment. The presence of several of these substances is currently controlled through monitoring programmes, but this covers only a fraction of the more than 4700 known PFAS. This means that the presence and dissemination of complex mixes of PFAS in groundwater, surface water and drinking water is not known, particularly since industry is introducing more and more alternative PFAS to replace regulated substances.


In this project we develop a strategy for the detection of PFAS, which consists of various chemical analyses which are applied in parallel and (in part) sequentially.


For the control of water quality, the implementation of effective and cost-efficient monitoring of PFAS is extremely important. A locally differentiated approach is the only effective way of achieving this. The implementation of such targeted monitoring must begin with an integrated strategy that maps out the presence and spatial dissemination of PFAS.

Anticipated solutions

On the basis of the acquired knowledge, a trend analysis can be carried out using appropriate data evaluation techniques. Also, more locally-targeted (simpler and cost-efficient) monitoring procedures can be set up for the continuous control of the water quality.