Foto del docente

Guido Galletti

Associate Professor

Department of Chemistry "Giacomo Ciamician"

Academic discipline: CHIM/01 Analytical Chemistry

Research

1. Set-up of on-line instrumental methods for the determination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by membrane inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS). Applications to drinking waters and industrial waters.

2. Gaschromatography/mass spectrometry applied to the determination of  endocrine disrupters and pollutants in water (farmaceuticals, nitrosamines, by-products of disinfection processes).

3. Quality assesment of polyethylene tubes by PY/GC/MS.



1.Volatile Organic Compouns (VOCs) are a very important class of water pollutants because of their persistence and suspect carcinogenicity for many of them.  As of the Italian law DL 31/01, the maximum allowable concentration for the sum of trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene in drinking water is 10 ppb, whereas 30 ppb is the treshold for a set of eight halogenated compounds, namely chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane, chlorodibromomethane, carbontetrachloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene. A real-time, on-line, continuous monitoring of such compounds would allow prompt actions in order to avoid the diffusion of pollutants in the water system or to take appropriate countermeasures, thus restoring safe conditions in case of accidental contamination. MIMS allows the introduction of VOCs in the mass spectrometer through a thin (some tenths of millimeter) hollow-fiber polymeric membrane, which is selective towards organic compounds. When the membrane is in contact with the sample and an ion trap mass spectrometer is used as detector, such as in the present instance, VOCs are extracted in the membrane, concentrated in its small volume, and swept into the mass spectrometer by a gentle stream of helium carrier gas.

2. Gaschromatography/mass spectrometry of emerging contaminants  in waters.  Pharmaceuticals, hormones and endocrine disrupting compounds are important emerging contaminants due to their presence in environmental waters and drinking waters and due to concern about possible estrogenic effects on humans and wildlife.  The aim of the project is the set-up of new rapid and sensitive methods for the detection of emerging contaminants and pollutants (mainly pharmaceuticals and water disinfection by-products such as nitrosammines) in drinking water, waste waters and sludge.

3. One of the most critical aspects in managing the distribution of drinking water is pipeline failure. Water losses are aggravated by the amount of water needed to wash the pipelines after repair or replacement. Pipe failures and related repair work have serious financial and social consequences in terms of higher costs and inconveniences for citizens. In Italy, the losses of drinking water during distribution amount to the 37%. Old pipes used to supply drinking water are often replaced with pipes manufactured from polymer materials and polyethylene (PE) is one of the most used polymeric materials. The ability to predict pipe lifetime before of its use in the distribution line is very important to avoid the losses of drinking water. The aim of this work is the developing of a rapid method to predict PE pipe quality on the basis of molecular data as obtained by a number of chemical analyses (such as pyrolysis/gaschromatography/mass spectrometry and   chemical analyses of organic compounds released from pipes into drinking water) thus providing water companies a relatively simple mean of assessing chemical differences among PE pipes of differing manufacturer or differing lots.

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