Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Piero Gardinali

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jose Almirall

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Anthony DeCaprio

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Designer Drugs, Enviroment, Water

Date of Defense



Designer drugs are compounds which have been synthetically derived from illicit drugs. After consumption, drugs and their metabolites are introduced into the sewage water which is treated and disposed into the environment. A combined target, suspect and non-target workflow was created to detect designer drugs in environmental water samples. Multiple water samples were spiked with an unknown mixture of drugs and metabolites to assess the efficiency of the method. Samples were collected from sewage influent and effluent pipes, downstream from a sewage outfall and reclaimed water. Analysis was conducted with high resolution MS using the QExactive Orbitrap. Screening was performed using a database compiled in-house using TraceFinder EFS. Structure confirmation was achieved using MassFrontier. Target drugs and their metabolites were detected in sewage influent but not in sewage effluent, downstream of the effluent pipe, or in reclaimed water. The workflow was adequate to detect designer drugs in multiple water matrices at concentrations as low as 20ppt.





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