Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control Laboratory (NRPOP)



The NRPOP Laboratory is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Industrial Research and Innovation Funds (IRIF) of the Newfoundland and Labrador Government. It is a first of its kind in Canada hosting pioneering research on a quantitative understanding of persistent and toxic organic pollution and their effects in harsh marine and freshwater environments and the development of innovative engineering and managerial solutions by integrating environmental engineering with nano/biological technologies and risk-simulation-optimization methods.

The lab is equipped with a multi-scale experimental system that can be used to support model development through simulating the transport processes of persistent organic pollutants and their degradation products, testing the effects of pollution control and remediation practices, and gathering data for driving and validating models. Its associated research aims to enhance the understanding of the pollution mechanisms and help governments and industries improve their practices for mitigation of the POPs-related pollution problems, leading to short-/long-term environmental, economic and social benefits.

The research activities at Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control Laboratory are

  • Monitoring and analysis of persistent, emerging and organic pollutants (PEOPs) and their transformation products in environmental media
  • Physical and numerical simulation of PEOPs fate and transport
  • Advanced water and wastewater treatment and removal of PEOPs
  • Inland and marine oil spill response and cleanup
  • Nano-material and technologies for environmental application
  • Microbiological testing and environmental biotechnology
  • Environmental emergency response decision support
  • Remediation and enhancement by nano/biotechnology for brownfield and other contaminated sites
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and application for environmental research (e.g., water resource management, water quality management, waste management, and urban planning)

To learn more about NRPOP, click here.


Principal Investigators
    • Advanced treatment and resource recovery technologies (e.g., enhanced oxidation, microrection, and microbial fuel cells) for wastewater and waste;
    • Nano-/bio-enhanced in-situ remediation technologies for offshore and onshore chemical or oil spills in cold regions;
    • Modelling, assessment and removal of persistent and emerging contaminants (PAHs, pharmaceutical and personal care products or PPCPs, microplastics, flame retardants, disinfection by-products or DBPs, chemical surfactants, pesticides, engineered nanoparticles, etc.);
    • Integration of artificial intelligence with simulation, assessment, and optimization to support decision making for emergency response and environmental management under uncertainty
    • Marine oil spill response
    • Coastal/inland site remediation
    • Marine oily wastewater treatment
    • Offshore reservoir souring control
    • Environmental monitoring and analysis
    • Transport and fate of emerging contaminants
    • Northern environmental studies
    • Environmental and ecological risk assessment of offshore oil and gas development in Atlantic Canada
    • Produced water and cuttings discharge modelling, assessment and management in harsh environments
    • Risk-based remediation technologies for oil spills
    • Risk-based decision-making tools for environmental management
    • Water treatment and control of disinfection-by-products in the drinking water supplies
    • Air emission modelling and risk assessment
Other users of NRPOP Lab 

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

Faculty of Science


NRPOP lab is equipped with world-class instruments and some unique facilities for supporting innovative environmental engineering research and education. It also has the comprehensive capacity for analyzing a wide variety of chemical and microbiological environmental parameters and monitoring and simulating diverse environmental processes in surface/groundwater, air, soil, and oceans.

Use: Mainly for the analysis of volatile compounds in complex samples. (example: analysis of gasoline and petroleum products)

Agilent 7890A - 5975C Gas Chromatograph Single Quadruple Mass Spectrometer System

Use: Identify and quantify low-level analytes and unknown volatile components in complex samples

Gas Chromatograph Triple Quadruple Mass Spectrometer System

Use: Mainly for the analysis of thermally unstable molecules in complex samples. (Example, analysis biological fluids)

Agilent 1260 Infinity Agilent 6420A QQQ
Agilent 1260 Infinity Agilent 6420A QQQ

Use: Quantitatively determine chemical elements using the absorption of optical radiation (light) by free atoms in the gaseous state.

Thermo Scientific iCE 3500 Atomic Absorption Spectrometer

Use: Used for separation and purification of liquid analytes

Use: Determine the sum of volatile petroleum hydrocarbons (VPH) (gasoline range organics including hydrocarbons from C6-C10) and extractable petroleum hydrocarbons (EPH) (diesel range organics including hydrocarbons from C10-C28)

Spectro Scietific InfraCal

Use: Determine the amount of carbon in an organic compound (as a non-specific indicator of water quality) by using a catalytic oxidation combustion technique at high temperature (raises up to 720 °C) to convert organic carbon into CO2 and then measured with a Non-dispersive Infra-Red (NDIR) sensor.

Shimadzu TOC-L

Use: Measure light absorbance across the ultraviolet and visible ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Thermo Scientific GENESYS

Use: Extract compounds from solid and semi-solid samples quickly with a small solvent volume.

Thermo Scientific Dionex

Use: Used for precise, highly sensitive detection and quantification of nucleic acids

Applied Biosystems QuantStudio

Use: An in vitro testing system which uses bioluminescent bacteria (Allivibrio fischeri, formerly known as Vibrio fischeri) to detect toxic substances in water, air, soils or sediments. (Allivibrio fischeri are non-pathogenic, marine, bacteria that luminesce as a natural part of their metabolism).

Modern Water Microtox

Use: Freeze-dryer is a low-temperature dehydration process that involves freezing the product, lowering pressure, then removing the ice by sublimation. By removing the water from the material and sealing the material in a glass vial, the material can be easily stored, shipped, and later reconstituted to its original form for injection.

Labconco FreeZone

Use: Measure the rate of respiration of a living organism by measuring its rate of exchange of oxygen and/or carbon dioxide and allow investigation into how factors (such as chemicals) affect the rate of respiration

Challenge Technology

Use: Submersible laser-diffraction based particle size analyzer designed to measure particle size (1.0 - 500 µm) and concentration in rivers, streams, ports, harbours, coasts and oceans, whether for biological, sediment transport, or environmental monitoring needs.

SEQUOIA Scientific

Use: Measure the particle size of dispersed systems from 0.3 nm to 5 µm in diameter using the technique of Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). Zetasizer is also used to analyze particle mobility and charge (zeta potential) using the technique of Electrophoretic Light Scattering (ELS), and the molecular weight of particles in solution using Static Light Scattering (SLS).

Malvern Nano

Use: Image matter at the nanoscale and is used to measure and localize many different forces, including adhesion strength, magnetic forces and mechanical properties. AFM helps researchers better understand the potential environmental impact of new nanotechnologies.

Quesant Q Scope

Use: Used for the quantification of different biological and chemical assays in a microplate.

BioTek Synergy

Use: Determine the wettability of solids by means of the contact angle as well as the surface tension of liquids such as coating substances or adhesives.

KRUSS DSA25S Drop Shape Analyzer

Use: Used for environmental pollution simulation and emergency response training and research.

WorldViz Custom VR

Use: Designed specifically to detect the chlorophyll fluorescence emission from a sample.

Hansatech Handy PEA

Use: Physically simulate the transport and fate of oil and other pollutants in oil and groundwater and test diverse remediation technologies.

Soil Tank

Use: Simulate marine oil spills and conducting mesoscale and pilot-scale tests on oil spill response technologies.

Wave Tank

Tube furnace is a heating device commonly used for chemical synthesis and thermal treatment of organic and inorganic materials. It consists of two main components: a heating element and a programmable controller.

There are two tube furnaces in the NRPOP lab - a CARBOLITE VST 12/300 and a Thermo Fisher Lindberg/Blue M. Their applications are as follows:

  • Preparation and modification of activated carbons such as carbonation, chemical activation, and physical activation.
  • Sintering nanomaterials.
  • Drying air-sensitive materials.
  • Flue gas desulfurization.
Carbolite VST 12/300 Thermo Fisher Lindberg/Blue M
CARBOLITE VST 12/300 Thermo Fisher Lindberg/Blue M


EN 2076 and EN 1073E/G
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
S.J. Carew Building
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL