The research group WASTe (Working group for Analytical Speciation Techniques) applies various analytical methods and measuring techniques for elemental analysis and materials characterisation.

Both chemical speciation and trace element analysis are the focus of the elemental analysis division. A prominent example of the work carried out in this division deals with the mobility of contaminants in the environment. Our group is involved in a joint research project covering the risk assessment of potential final disposal sites in clay for long term storage of highly radioactive waste.

The influences of various geochemical parameters on the mobility of contaminants under conditions close to nature are investigated in this research project funded by BMWi (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag. The project is carried out in close collaboration together with major research institutions and universities throughout Germany.

Methods of instrumental analytical chemistry are applied and optimised in the context of chemical speciation (complex formation) of lanthanides and uranium with organic and inorganic ligands. The lanthanides, mainly europium and gadolinium, serve as chemical homologues for the radioactive actinides.

One target is the determination of sorption as well as complex stability constants. After feeding these results into databases consequent geochemical modelling and prediction of contaminant transport takes place.

The three different thematic priorities of WASTe are:

  • Chemical speciation of metals with organic and inorganic ligands in the context of repository research and environmental analysis

  • (CE-ICP-MS, HPLC-ICP-MS, MCCE-ICP-MS) for chemical speciation, environmental analysis as well as bioanalytics

  • Trace element analysis and element screening in inorganic and organic matrices



PD Dr. Ralf Kautenburger

+49-(0)681 302 2171


Kontakt und Anfahrt:

Universität des Saarlandes
Anorganische Chemie / Elementanalytik
Campus C4 1, 1. UG
66123 Saarbrücken


Gebäude C4 1