Organic Trace Analysis

Organische Spurenanalytik

Organic trace analytics is a specialist discipline in chemical analytics. It facilitates the analysis of toxic and highly toxic compounds in the ultra-trace range in various matrices.

Our capabilities in organic trace analytics can be used for migration studies, for workplace monitoring or in the event of fires or other incidents. Additionally, various applications can be found in process and product optimization.

Performance details for organic trace analytics

As a classic application, product and environmental analytics often focus on dioxins and furans, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other organochlorinated compounds, N-nitrosamines and their precursor products.


The dioxins group places special demands on trace analytics. The main challenge roots in the low concentration of the target substance, usually in the in the femtogram to picogram range. Furthermore, dioxins are not individual substances but mixtures of congomers that differ only slightly in their chemical composition. Consequently, this type of analysis in the ultra-trace range requires complex sample preparation, high-performance chromatography and sensitive detection using high-resolution mass spectrometry.


Due to their carcinogenicity, nitrosamines must be minimized. CURRENTA Analytik offers validated methods using GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS for the determination of nitrosamines under DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025, GLP and GMP conditions.

The experienced experts are able to draw on various options for sample preparation. Samples such as blister packs or other packaging, tablets, powders, active ingredients and other matrices can be measured.

More information on the analysis of nitrosamines can be found here.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB)

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are often mixtures of the total 209 individual congeners. Typical matrices for PCBs are dust samples, material samples such as construction materials, swab samples taken from surfaces and in room air samples. PCBs are analyzed after extraction and preparation using gas chromatography as a separation method and mass spectrometry as a detection method (GC-MS).

Perfluorinated Tensides (PFT)

PFTs are perfluorinated tensides that exhibit dirt- and grease-repellent properties while being particular chemical stable. Like conventional tensides, PFTs consist of a hydrophilic and hydrophobic part, with all hydrogen atoms in the hydrophobic part being replaced by fluorine atoms.. However, the desired advantages of PFTs in their intended application translate into a risk for the environment, since they are hardly biodegradable. PFTs are analyzed by HPLC-MS/MS and can be detected in trace amounts in various matrices.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)

The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons group encompasses many compounds that are classed as carcinogenic or genotoxic. PAHs are found everywhere in the environment, as they are released into the atmosphere from smoke and other exhaust gases and are then naturally distributed through e.g. precipitation. The samples to be investigated are predominantly extracted in a Soxhlet and analyzed using gas chromatography as a separation method and mass spectrometry as a detection method (GC-MS).

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