Department Chemistry and Biology

The safety of the environment and the quality of our own health are important. The growth of the global population and an increasing industrialization are key factors putting pressure on the environment and, in that way, threatening our health. In our research we address in particular the risks of chemicals that are being produced in increasing volumes to satisfy the needs of the growing world population. Although these chemicals often serve useful purposes such as lower energy costs, cleaner materials, fire safety and faster transport, they are often harmful to the environment and the human body. They can bioaccumulate, cause cancer, disrupt hormonal processes, and weaken the immune system of organisms. We develop methods for their analysis, study their environmental fate, test their toxicity, advise authorities, train other laboratories in measuring them, and teach young people in this highly specialized work.   


The laboratories of C&B are in the A2 wing of the W&N Building. The new laboratories include special rooms for gas and liquid chromatography, both connected to mass spectrometry (GC-MS and LC-MS).  There are two modern laboratories for the extraction and clean-up of environmental samples. A specially designed fume hood has been installed in which contaminants can be extracted and fractionated that need special care with regard to background contamination, such as phthalates and siloxanes.  The tox-lab consists of three ML-I rooms all equipped with the necessary facilities such as laminar flow hoods. A special ML-II room has been installed for bacteria culture work.  In addition, there is a spacious glassware cleaning room, a cold storage room, a weighing room and space for freezers and refrigerators.

Contact information: Prof. dr. Jacob de Boer, Head department Chemistry and Biology
More information: Brochure Department Chemistry and Biology 
More information: Staff Department Chemistry and Biology
More information: Projects Chemistry and Biology
More information: Publications Chemistry and Biology

Triple quad
Triple quad LC/MS


An advanced laboratory is available for the analysis of complex mixtures of contaminants in a wide range of environmental matrices, food and feed, and for highly specialized toxicological work such as genomics and molecular biological studies. Rapid and sensitive biomarkers and bioassays, both in vitro (e.g. protein binding assays, enzyme induction assays) and in vivo (e.g. zebra fish embryo assay) methods to measure the exposure, bioavailability, and effects of chemicals with endocrine disrupting potency are available. Chemical analyses include a wide variety of organic environmental contaminants, such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) - PCBs, organochlorine pesticides (e.g. toxaphene, DDT, HCHs, drins), perfluorinated compounds, brominated flame-retardants -  as well as PAHs, hormones, organotin compounds, , pharmaceuticals, phosphorus flame retardants, phthalates and others. Also micro-plastics are being analyzed. State-of-the art instrumentation includes among others GC-MS (/MS), GCxGC-ECD, -FID, LC-QQQ, GC/LC-TOF-MS, field flow fractionation (FFF) and pressurized fluid extraction. pressurized fluid extraction.


The accreditation of IVM as a university laboratory is unique because many different staff members – technicians, students, guests, post docs, etc. - are working in the laboratory, which brings an extra challenge. The plan is to further develop to a full-research accreditation, also including toxicological activities such as various bioassays. Annual audits are being held by RvA to check and further improve the quality of the laboratory.

laboratorium1           GC

Contact information: Jacco Koekkoek, Coordinator Laboratory