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Lutz Ahrens

Ahrens Lutz
I am Associated Professor in Organic Environmental Chemistry and my research is focused on development of new analytical methods for emerging organic pollutants in the environment using advanced mass spectrometry methods, and application of these methods for transport and fate studies.


My current research is focusing on

  • Sources, fate and transport of emerging organic pollutants in the environment such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), siloxanes, flame retardants (FRs), personal care products and pharmaceuticals
  • Passive sampling of organic pollutants in water and air
  • Development of suspect and non-target screening methods using high resolution mass-spectrometry
  • Development of advanced treatment techniques for soil and water
  • Partitioning of organic pollutants in various compartments of the environment


The POPs-group

PhD students

Current projects

  • Forest-POPs I: Legacy and emerging POPs in the Swedish forest, Formas (main applicant K Wiberg)
  • Forest-POPs II: POPs in Swedish snow and boreal catchment waters, Oscar and Lili Lamms Minne (main applicant K Wiberg)
  • SafeDrink: Integrated chemical and toxicological methods for early detection of hazardous chemicals in drinking water, Formas (main applicant K Wiberg)
  • DRICKS: Competence centre for drinking water - Projects about Sources, prevalence, and treatment of hazardous chemicals in drinking water, Svenskt Vatten and others
  • RedMic: Novel strategies to reduce diffuse emissions of micropollutants from on-site sewage facilities, Formas (main applicant P Andersson, Umeå University)
  • Screening for emerging organic pollutants in archived biota, Swedish EPA (main applicant L Ahrens, K Wiberg)
  • NonHazCity (EU Interreg flagship project): Innovative management solutions for minimizing emissions of hazardous substances from urban areas in the Baltic Sea Region (main applicant Stockholm Stad, Tonie Wickman)
  • PFASs-FREE: Innovative treatment techniques for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in drinking water, Formas (main applicant L Ahrens)
  • Blackwater treatment and reuse as agricultural fertilizer: fate and behavior of pharmaceuticals, antibiotic resistance genes and evaluation of environmental risks, Formas
  • PFASs-PURE: Innovative treatment techniques for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in soil and groundwater, Vinnova (main applicant L Ahrens)
  • Lake Mälaren – a lake for millions – but threatened as a natural resource for drinking water (LakePOPs), Formas (main applicant K Wiberg)
  • Sorption of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in soils – mechanisms and modelling, VR (main applicant J P Gustafsson)
  • In-situ remediation of PFASs based on sorption methods (StopPFAS), TUFFO (main applicant F Fagerlund, Uppsala University)

Selected publications

Recently published peer-reviewed papers (2014-present)

  • Rostvall, A., Zhang, W., Dürig, W., Renman, G., Wiberg, K., Ahrens, L., Gago-Ferrero, P. 2018. Removal of pharmaceuticals, perfluoroalkyl substances and other micropollutants from wastewater using lignite, Xylit, sand, granular activated carbon (GAC) and GAC+Polonite® in column tests – Role of physicochemical properties. Water Res. 137, 97–106.

  • Dalahmeh, S., Tirgani, S., Komakech, A.J., Niwagaba, C.B., Ahrens, L. 2018. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in water, soil and plants in wetlands and agricultural areas in Kampala, Uganda. Sci. Total Environ. 631-632, 660–667.

  • Blum, K.M., Haglund, P., Gao, Q., Ahrens, L., Gros, M., Wiberg, K., Andersson, P.L. 2018. Mass fluxes per capita of organic contaminants from on-site sewage treatment facilities. Chemosphere. 201, 864–873.

  • Gobelius, L., Hedlund, J., Dürig, W., Tröger, R., Lilja, K., Wiberg, K., Ahrens, L. 2018. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in ground- and surface water. Implications for environmental quality standards and drinking water guidelines. Environ. Sci. Technol. 52, 4340–4349.

  • Tröger R, Klöckner P, Ahrens L, Wiberg K. 2018. Micropollutants in drinking water from source to tap - Method development and application of a multiresidue screening method. Sci. Total Environ. 627, 1404–1432.

  • Gustavsson J, Wiberg K, Ribeli E, Nguyen MA, Josefsson S, Ahrens L, 2018. Screening of organic flame retardants in Swedish river water. Sci. Total Environ. 625, 1046–1055.

  • Nouhi S, Ahrens L, Campos Pereira H, Hughes AV, Campana M, Gutfreund P, Palsson GK, Vorobiev A, Hellsing MS, 2018. Interactions of perfluoroalkyl substances with a phospholipid bilayer studied by neutron reflectometry. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 511, 474–81.

  • Rosenmai AK, Ahrens L, le Godec T, Lundqvist J, Oskarsson A, 2018. Relationship between peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha activity and cellular concentration of 14 perfluoroalkyl substances in HepG2 cells. J. Appl. Toxicol. 38, 219–26.

  • Blum KM, Andersson PL, Ahrens L, Wiberg K, Haglund P, 2018. Persistence, mobility and bioavailability of emerging organic contaminants discharged from sewage treatment plants. Sci. Total Environ. 612, 1532–42.

  • Dalahmeh S, Ahrens L, Gros M, Wiberg K, Pell M, 2018. Potential of biochar filters for onsite sewage treatment: Adsorption and biological degradation of pharmaceuticals in laboratory filters with active, inactive and no biofilm. Sci. Total Environ. 612, 192–201.

  • Stubleski J, Salihovic S, Lind PM, Lind L, Dunder L, McCleaf P, Eurén K, Ahrens L, Svartengren M, van Bavel B, Kärrman A, 2017. The effect of drinking water contaminated with perfluoroalkyl substances on a 10-year longitudinal trend of plasma levels in an elderly Uppsala cohort. Environ. Res. 159, 95–102.

  • Kothawala DN, Köhler SJ, Östlund A, Wiberg K, Ahrens L, 2017. Influence of dissolved organic matter concentration and composition on the removal efficiency of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) during drinking water treatment. Water Res. 121, 320–28.

  • McCleaf P, Englund S, Östlund A, Lindegren K, Wiberg K, Ahrens L, 2017. Removal efficiency of multiple poly-and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in drinking water using granular activated carbon (GAC) and anion exchange (AE) column tests. Water Res. 120, 77–87.

  • Åkerblom S, Negm N, Wu P, Bishop K, Ahrens L, 2017. Variation and accumulation patterns of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in European perch (Perca fluviatilis) across a gradient of pristine Swedish lakes. Sci. Total Environ. 599-600, 1685–92.

  • Gago-Ferrero P, Gros M, Ahrens L, Wiberg K, 2017. Impact of on-site, small and large scale wastewater treatment facilities on levels and fate of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, artificial sweeteners, pesticides, and perfluoroalkyl substances in recipient waters. Sci. Total Environ. 601-602, 1289–97.

  • Gustavsson J, Ahrens L, Nguyen MA, Josefsson S, Wiberg K, 2017. Development and comparison of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques for analysis of flame retardants. J. Chromatogr. A. 1481, 116–126.

  • Gros M, Blum KM, Jernstedt H, Renman G, Rodríguez-Mozaz S, Haglund P, Andersson PL, Wiberg K, Ahrens L, 2017. Screening and prioritization of micropollutants in wastewaters from on-site sewage treatment facilities. J. Hazard. Mater. 328, 37–45.

  • Nguyen MA, Wiberg K, Ribeli E, Josefsson S, Futter M, Gustavsson J, Ahrens L, 2017. Spatial distribution and source tracing of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in surface water in Northern Europe. Environ. Pollut. 220, 1438–1446.

  • Abdollahi A, Eng A, Jantunen LM, Ahrens L, Shoeib M, Parnis JM, Harner T, 2017. Characterization of polyurethane foam (PUF) and sorbent impregnated PUF (SIP) disk passive air samplers for measuring organophosphate flame retardants. Chemosphere 167, 212–19.

  • Blum KM, Andersson PL, Renman G, Ahrens L, Gros M, Wiberg K, Haglund P, 2017. Non-target screening and prioritization of potentially persistent, bioaccumulating and toxic domestic wastewater contaminants and their removal in on-site and large-scale sewage treatment plants. Sci. Total Environ. 575, 265–75.

  • Ahrens L, Daneshvar A, Lau AE, Kreuger J, 2016. Characterization and application of passive samplers for monitoring of pesticides in water. JoVE 2016.

  • Ahrens L, Gashaw H, Sjöholm M, Gebrehiwot SG, Getahun A, Derbe E, Bishop K, Åkerblom S, 2016. Poly- and perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) in water, sediment and fish muscle tissue from Lake Tana, Ethiopia and implications for human exposure. Chemosphere 165, 352–57.

  • Lalander, C, Senecal, J, Gros Calvo, M, Ahrens, L, Josefsson, S, Wiberg, K, Vinnerås, B, 2016. Fate of pharmaceuticals and pesticides in fly larvae composting. Sci. Total Environ. 565, 279–286.

  • Hellsing, MS, Josefsson, S, Hughes, AV, Ahrens, L, 2016. Sorption of perfluoroalkyl substances to two types of minerals. Chemosphere 159, 385–391.

  • Booij K, Robinson CD, Burgess RM, Mayer P, Roberts CA, Ahrens L, Allan IJ, Brant J, Jones L, Kraus UR, Larsen MM, Lepom P, Petersen J, Pröfrock D, Roose P, Schäfer S, Smedes F, Tixier C, Vorkamp K, Whitehouse P, 2016. Passive Sampling in Regulatory Chemical Monitoring of Nonpolar Organic Compounds in the Aquatic Environment. Environ. Sci. Technol. 50, 3–17.

  • Ahrens L, Daneshvar A, Lau AE, Kreuger J, 2015. Characterization of five passive sampling devices for monitoring of pesticides in water. J. Chromatogr. A 1405, 1–11.

  • Ahrens L, Norström K, Viktor T, Palm Cousins A, Josefsson S, 2015. Stockholm Arlanda Airport as a source of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances to water, sediment and fish. Chemosphere 129, 33–38.

  • Schuster JK, Harner T, Fillmann G, Ahrens L, Altamirano JC, Bastos W, Castillo LE, Cortés J, Fentanes O, Gusev A, Hernandez M, Ibarra MV, Lana NB, Lee SC, Martínez AP, Miglioranza KSB, Puerta AP, Segovia F, Siu BM, Tominaga MY, Zuluaga HA, 2015. Assessing Polychlorinated Dibenzo‑P‑Dioxins and Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans in Air across Latin American Countries Using Polyurethane Foam Disk Passive Air Samplers. Environ Sci Technol, 49, 3680–86.

  • Bustnes JO, Bangjord G, Ahrens L, Herzke D, Yoccoz NG, 2015. Perfluoroalkyl substance concentrations in a terrestrial raptor: Relationships to environmental conditions and individual traits. Environ Toxicol Chem, 34, 184–191.

  • Shoeib M, Ahrens L, Jantunen L, Jantunen L, Harner T, 2014, Concentrations in air of organobromine, organochlorine and organophosphate flame retardants in Toronto, Canada. Atmos Environ, 99, 140–147.

  • Ahrens L, Bundschuh M, 2014, Fate and effects of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances in the aquatic environment: A review. Environ Toxicol Chem, 33, 1921–1929.

  • Ahrens L, Harner T, Shoeib M, 2014, Temporal variations of cyclic and linear volatile methylsiloxanes in the atmosphere using passive samplers and high-volume air samplers. Environ Sci Technol, 48, 9374–9381.

  • Codling G, Halsall C, Ahrens L, Del Vento S, Wiberg K, Bergknut M, Laudon H, Ebinghaus R, 2014, The fate of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances within a melting snowpack of a boreal forest. Environ Pollut 191, 190–198.

Researcher, Associate Senior Lecturer at the Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment; Section for Organic Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology
Telephone: 018-673033, 070-2972245
Postal address:
Institutionen för vatten och miljö, Box 7050
Visiting address: Lennart Hjelms väg 9, Uppsala