CERNESIM » L1. Physico-chemical analysis laboratory

L1. Physico-chemical analysis laboratory

Prof. PhD Cecilia ARSENE

phone: +40 232 201354

The main objective of the laboratory is the identification, quantification and study of organic pollutants specific to the North-Eastern region of Romania. The laboratory is lead by researchers form Faculty of Chemistry within “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi. The physico-chemical analysis laboratory has the following research topics:

  • Organic/inorganic pollutants monitorization from natural matrices.
  • Studies on the structure stability of unknown compounds.
  • VOC reaction mechanism studies in natural conditions.
  • Method development for identification, separation, concentration and determination of environmental pollutants.
  • Removal of pollutants from wastewater.

The team working in this laboratory has the ability to obtain important results using a high-performance infrastructure. The team is a participant in international projects, has remarkable results at national level (its own research has filled some information gaps in the literature on the chemical behavior of some pollutants in the environment – the use of advanced analytical means for the quantification of organic pollutants from various natural matrices) and has results published in ISI-rated profile journals.

In addition to the indicators monitored by the National Environmental Agencies in Romania, our laboratory also monitors some indicators like:

  • Heavy metals quantification in dust particles (with emphasis on Pb), water and soils.
  • Rainfall quality: pH, Conductivity, acidity/alkalinity, chemical composition.

Taking into account that within the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi the monitoring and analysis at local or zonal level is of great interest, especially in stressful situations (accidents, floods, illegal and abusive emissions, etc.) within scientific research coordinated by specialized Faculties (chemistry, biology, environmental engineering, etc.), the laboratory for identification, quantification and study of volatile organic pollutants, brings together the efforts of researchers with environmental concerns following other indicators, such as

  • North-Eastern specific VOC identification (alkanes, achenes, aromatic hydrocarbons – BTX, alcohols, aldehydes, organic acids).
  • Chemical composition studies of dust particles (organic fraction).
  • POP-s identification in water and sediments.
  • Rainfall quality investigations – organic matter contents – establishing the influence of the organic fraction on the pH of precipitation

The performance criteria are the essence of any analysis. From this highlight the two conditions that a laboratory with European standards must satisft: objectivity and efficiency. The quality assurance (QA) activity will cover the pre-treatment phases, starting from the nomination of the quality objectives, to the equipment, sampling site and personnel. This objective, with an exceptional importance in achieving the best documentation for accreditation, will be handled by a team of 2-3 specialists, trained at the courses organized by RENAR and EURACHEM, Romania.

As the national and international situation shows, any contribution to reducing or stopping anthropogenic impact on the environment is of major importance, by the very attempt to protect the population and ecosystems. The enormous diversity of pollutants in all compartments of the environment, make their identification, quantification and control have the same degree of complexity and diversity as their huge number. Consequently, this objective aims to identify and monitor volatile organic pollutants, characteristic of the North-Eastern Development Region of Romania.

The approached field is new and very complex, apart from the scope of the interdisciplinary work team, the nature of the pollutants and the methodologies to be used (electrochemical methods, spectral methods, high resolution chromatographic methods, mass spectrometry, etc.), systems modeling on computer, drawing maps with the spatial and temporal distribution of concentrations. On the other hand, the complexity stems from the large number of sampling sites, on the entire monitorised area, which brings with it an enormous number of analyzes (on samples and replicates) / site / month / year.

The novelty that our laboratory brings is the theoretical and experimental approach is the need to introduce monitoring as a mandatory activity:

  • Identification and quantification as qualitative and quantitative evaluation of volatile organic pollutants.
  • Identification and quantification as connection tools for environmental legislations and policy from North-Eastern region of Romania to the European and international environmental policy.
  • Identification and quantification, as promises for the future, for respecting the legality, increasing the quality of life, conserving the biodiversity of ecosystems.
  • Taking into account the elaboration of a high-performance methodology for the identification of isotopes in the environment.

The knowledge of the situation regarding the pollution with volatile organic compounds at national and international level, but especially the need to contribute data to the European general picture, justifies the importance of the functioning of this Laboratory of physico-chemical analyzes within the CERNESIM Center.