Leuphana University, Germany

Emerging pollutants

"Tackling Micropollutants in the Environment by Benign Design – an Important  Building Block of Sustainable Chemistry and the Protection of Water Resources"


Prof. Dr. Klaus Kümmerer is full Professor of Sustainable Chemistry and Material Resources and director of the Institute of Sustainable and Environmental Chemistry at the public Leuphana University. His research and teaching is focused on Sustainable Chemistry, Sustainable Pharmacy, Material Resources, Aquatic Environmental Chemistry, and Time in Environmental and Sustainability Research. As such he has a very wide research portfolio as PI and Co-I, and has delivered invited lectures around the World. He heads an interdisciplinary research team. His work was featured in many international scientific journals, newspapers, and TV.

He was one of the first studying pharmaceuticals in the environment in the 1990s. For his work on pharmaceuticals in the environment he received the Recipharm International Environment Award (Sweden, 2007). In 2015 he was awarded the "Water Resource Award" of the Rüdiger Kurt Bode-Foundation within the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft for his outstanding work on the Benign by Design concept and protection of water resources.

He has published extensively on these topics in leading peer reviewed scientific journals of different scientific disciplines, many book contributions and (co)edited 10 books, e.g. „Pharmaceuticals in the Environment“, Springer 3rd edition which is still the standard book in the field, "Green and Sustainable Pharmacy"(with M Hempel, Springer 2010); "Xenobiotics in the Urban Water Cycle" (with D Fatta-Kassinos and K Bester, Springer 2010), and "Waste Water Reuse and Current Challenges", "Advanced Treatment Technologies for Urban Waste Water Reuse" (both with D Fatta-Kassinos, and D Dionysiou, Springer, 2016). He is founding editor of the scientific journals Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy, and Current Opinion in Sustainable Chemistry as well as associate editor of Chemosphere and Environmental Pollution.

Klaus Kümmerer serves in many international committees including the prestigious seminal Global Chemical Outlook by UNEP, EU Technology Platform SusChem Europe, the Commission for Water Research of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Executive Board of the subdivision of Sustainable Chemistry in the German Chemical Society. He is also organizer of the Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference.

He studied chemistry at the University of Wurzburg and the University of Tübingen where he received his "Dr. rer. nat.“. At the same time he completed further training at the German Institute for Remote Education in „Ecology and its Biological Basis". Later he worked as a scientist as the Institute of Applied Ecology in Freiburg, Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Freiburg Medical Centre and Visiting Professor at the Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH, USA).