Chemist on OMES project 

PhD VUB 2021

Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Room 7G423
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels | Belgium


Project title:

Development of a Diffusive Gradient in Thin Films method for in situ determination of Platinum Group Elements in natural surface waters.

Project summary:

The increased application of Platinum Group Elements (PGEs) (Pt, Pd, Rh, Ru, Os and Ir) in the last decades, especially as car catalysts but also in other applications, makes it necessary to monitor the concentration of these elements in the environment, investigate their environmental transformations and bioavailability.

The passive sampling technique diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT), which is based on the diffusion of labile metal species through a diffusive hydrogel overlaid on a binding gel allows the determination of time-weighted average concentrations of labile metal species in situ. Moreover, it provides an important preconcentration of the analytes on the binding gel which makes it possible to measure very low concentrations of trace elements in aquatic systems. The technique is well established for many elements, but has not yet been developed for PGEs. My project is focusing on developing the DGT technique to measure very low concentration PGEs in surface water.

Field sites:

Zenne River (Brussels, Belgium), Selle River (Picardy, France)


platinum group elements, ICP-MS, DGT, natural surface waters


Prof. Martine Leermakers