Gaiasafe Passive Collectors for the analysis of explosives in sea water


Dr. Rainer Haas

gaiasafe gmbH, Stadtwaldstrasse 45a, D-35037 Marburg, Germany

Tel.: 49-6421-93084; Fax: 49-6421-93073; email:


Description of the Passive Collectors:

The gaiasafe passive collector consists a paper like arangement of different sorption active fibres. As paper sheets they are prefered for water analysis applications. It is necessary to prevent the Passive Collectors from physical destruction by fluid motion and to keep them form stable by fixing them within fluid permeable bags.

Passive Collectors are placed into the ground water, river or seawage. After the collection time of four weeks they are taken off. Occasionally after drying they are sent to the laboratory for analysis.


A lot of compounds can be enriched by the gaiasafe Passive Collectors:

- Metals (for example Pb, Cu, Ni, Hg, Cr, Al)

- Metalloids (for example As, Sb, Se)

- Anions (for example S2-, PO4 3-)

- organic compounds (for example nitro aromatic compounds (explosives), BTEX, other aromatic compounds, hydrocarbons, aromatic amines, halogen organic compounds, phenols, benzoic acids etc.).


gaiasafe Passive Collectors have important advantages over fluid sampling methods:

- no deep limits of sampling positions when sampling of deep aquifers (for example sampling at ocean floor depth)

- low expenditure (for example ground water sampling from ground water measuring wells)

- minimum expenditures for sample transportation, sample conservation, sample cooling and sample storage

- enrichment of trace contaminants from huge volumes during collection periods up to 3 months

- detection of contamination impacts or contamination incidents occuring during sampling periods, e.g. in waste water channels

- detecting the undisturbed groundwater aquifer at predetermined positions with high precision

- possibility of gaining deep oriented contaminant profiles by positioning a plurality of Passive Collectors

- possibility of storage Passive Collectors for later analysis.


Preferred operational areas for gaiasafe Passive Collectors

- deep oriented sampling from ground water measuring wells

- sampling of undisturbed ground water aquifer

- sampling under problematic or difficult circumstances (e.g. from small diameter ground water measuring wells or from very deep measuring positions in the open sea)

- enrichment of trace contaminants

- Passive Collectors as valid piece of evidence for contamination incidents occuring during sampling period

- Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) from water samples for determining contaminant concentration, e.g. in 1 l water

- tested in the open sea (baltic and northern sea).


State of research developement and projects

Gaiasafe Passive Collectors are protected by the European Patent No. 1115469 and the European Patent No. 1127274.

Gaiasafe Passive Collectors have been tested within the different water environments (waste water, ground water, surface and drinking water, open sea) in Germany and some other countries like France, Switzerland, Austria, Belarus, Tadschikistan, Brasil and Cote dŽIvoire.

They have been validied for explosives and related compounds during a four year scientific project, benified by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the years 2003 to 2007. Since 2008 we analyze the explosives contamination in the baltic sea after controlled explosion of old munition from WW II in order of the Environmental Ministry of Schleswig-Holstein (Germany). We showed, that only with the Passive Collectors it is possible to detect the small traces of explosives in the open sea.

The gaiasafe Passive Collectors are avaiable only from gaiasafe GmbH for a price of 20 Euros per item.