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Dr Prasath Annamalai

Research Associate

Global Centre for Environmental Remediation

Career Summary

Biography

Research and Innovation

           Prasath is working at GCER, UoN, Newcastle as a Research Analyst in the field of analytical method development for emerging environmental contaminants. In 2006, he has completed Master of Science in Microbiology in India, where his research was focused on the Antibacterial activity of essential oils from plants grown on the wastelands. During his masters, he started using analytical equipment such as GCMS to identify the ingredients of essential oils. His research found promising results with plants (Rose geranium and Tagetes minuta) producing essential oils with substantial antibacterial activity. In 2014 he completed his PhD at the Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation (CERAR), University of South Australia. His research was focused on environmental risks associated with the use of 2, 4 Dinitroanisole - an explosive in insensitive munition activities. Research findings were on the persistence of DNAN in 3 soils differing in their properties, including investigation of the toxicity of DNAN to aquatic and terrestrial biota using the model organisms, and isolation and characterization of the bacteria from soil for its ability to degrade DNAN. The toxicity assays used in this study included survival of freshwater invertebrate (Daphnia carinata), acute toxicity to zebrafish (Danio rerio), survival of earthworms (Eisenia fetida) and plant seed germination and root elongation. Additionally, genotoxicity/cytotoxicity of DNAN in D. carinata, E. fetida and Allium cepa were also studied. As a new knowledge, this was the first report in this field. During his research, he has developed his analytical skills which involved analytical equipment such as HP-LC/MS and GC-MS/MS. After completion of his PhD, he continued to work as Technical Officer at CERAR, UniSA and his work included the development of methods for various emerging contaminants. After joining GCER, UoN, his role was to develop analytical capabilities for various emerging contaminants including PFCs, TCE products, TPH, 1,4-Dioxane, Antibiotics, Phenols and PAHs using  HPLC-FLD, LC-MS, GC-FID and GC-MS.

PFAS analysis

              PFAS are analysed in LC-MS (Single quadruple) and LC-MS/MS (triple quadruple) instrument. He has established the method (existing from literature) for regular analysis of PFAS compounds in LC-MS and developed the improved methods in LC-MS/MS to support further research activities.  The improved methods are new to this field and many modifications are done on the LC compartment of the system to remove the background contamination originating from the system itself and to achieve higher sensitivity in analysis. The instrument detection limit of PFAS is ranging from 50 ppt to 2 ppt level. The methods are validated for more than 30 plus PFAS group of compounds and currently working on adding more compounds as required. Also, he has learned and developed my knowledge on the separation and elution of these compounds as the number increases.

Volatile and Semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs) analysis

              The major two compounds analysed are - Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and Trichloro ethylene (TCE). For this, He has developed his expertise based on the sampler mechanism in GC. For example, TPH is analysed in GC-FID using Head Space (HS) sampler mechanism and TCE is analysed using GC-MS with Purge and Trap (PT) sampler mechanism. This involves additional software linked to either Chemstaion or Mass Hunter main software. This analysis requires broader system knowledge as it is working based on a combination of two or more software.

Air analysis

          This involves an air trap mechanism by CIA Advantage Canister autosampler with Markes Thermal desorber to GC-MS. He has developed his user and configurration knowledge on this Markes software linked to GC Mass Hunter software through analytical training and courses.

Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

              PAHs analysis involves both GC-MS/MS and LC-MS based on the requirement of the students and staffs. He has developed his expertise by working on 16 PAHs and as there are 16 PAHs in this group, the method establishment requires more knowledge on GC programming for the separation of each compound as there are similar mass compounds that elute closely.

Screening and identification of emerging contaminants

             The analytical techniques learnt through series of methods development are applied for screening and identification of new compounds such as 1, 4-dioxane, pesticides, drugs, paraben, fatty acids and firefighting foams (AFFF) and bis-phenols. He has established few methods for these compounds and currently working on further to improve them.

Maintenance and troubleshooting of analytical instrument

             He is engaged in instrument maintenance on regular basis- every day, weekly and monthly and annually. The system performance and sensitivity are maintained through regular tuning of the system by bringing back to default and original settings. As the MSD is a vacuum-based system it is necessary to monitor the air, water, Oxygen and Nitrogen contamination which can occur through various sources. In excess of any of these contaminants requires removing and fitting various parts of the system. As these systems are used for various contaminants analysis and for various matrices, often he has to wash and change the columns and setting up a sampler and equilibrating the system before start analysing based on the user requirement. As these instruments are highly sensitive, unexpected failure of some parts and components require immediate repair and remedy. For this, He has been liaising with instrument companies to solve the issue and to bring a solution for it. In addition, he is assisting staffs and students to prepare standards for calibration and sample extraction techniques on regular basis.

Software

Mainly, there are two versions of software in place (i) Chemstation and (ii) Mass Hunter. He has acquired his expertise on Chemstation in HPLC, LC-MS, and GC-FID and on Mass Hunter in GC-MS, GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS. This includes both online analysis software which is used for method development and running of samples and offline analysis used for data interpretation and extraction of the results.

Research vision and impact

               His research vision is to develop analytical methods and capabilities for various emerging contaminants found in multiple environmental matrices. This will also ensure effective support for the successful completion of various projects carried out by staff and students.   Currently, He is working on NATA certification procedural development which will ensure quality results appropriate to this National quality standard is produced from the GCER laboratory. Further, this will improve the opportunities for attracting grants for those projects concentrating on the PFAS group of compounds, where screening and risk assessment are critical.



Qualifications

  • PhD, University of South Australia

Keywords

  • Analytical Method Developments
  • LC-QQQ, LC-QToF, GC-QQQ, ICP-MS/OES

Languages

  • English (Working)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
340199 Analytical chemistry not elsewhere classified 100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Research Associate University of Newcastle
Global Centre for Environmental Remediation
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (8 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Xue Y, Wang Z, Bush R, Yang F, Yuan R, Liu J, et al., 'Resistance of alkyl chloride on chloramphenicol to oxidative degradation by sulfate radicals: Kinetics and mechanism', Chemical Engineering Journal, 415 (2021) [C1]

Release and rechlorination of chlorine atoms on the benzene ring have been observed during advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), while the dechlorination on the side chain of the b... [more]

Release and rechlorination of chlorine atoms on the benzene ring have been observed during advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), while the dechlorination on the side chain of the benzene ring has not been fully investigated previously. The degradation and dechlorination processes of chloramphenicol (i.e., thiamphenicol (TAP) and florfenicol (FFC)) were assessed through generation of the sulfate radical from Co(II)-mediated activation of peroxymonosulfate (PMS). High-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) analysis detected a few chlorinated and dechlorinated products during the Co2+/PMS reaction. The low efficiency of total organic carbon (TOC) removal in conjunction with slightly decreased absorbable organic halogen (AOX) values with high degradation rates, indicate that TAP and FFC could be degraded via the destruction of a small portion of the carbon moiety rather than through complete mineralization. The possible degradation pathways of TAP and FFC are proposed. All experimental results and further quantum chemistry calculations indicate dechlorination on the side chain of the benzene ring is more difficult than that directly on the benzene ring. This suggests organic pollutants containing chlorine atoms on the side chain of the benzene ring will be more resistant to oxidative attack and deserve more attention.

DOI 10.1016/j.cej.2021.129041
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors Zhaohui Wang
2021 Meftaul IM, Venkateswarlu K, Annamalai P, Parven A, Megharaj M, 'Glyphosate use in urban landscape soils: Fate, distribution, and potential human and environmental health risks.', Journal of environmental management, 292 112786 (2021) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112786
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Megh Mallavarapu
2020 Meftaul IM, Venkateswarlu K, Dharmarajan R, Annamalai P, Asaduzzaman M, Parven A, Megharaj M, 'Controversies over human health and ecological impacts of glyphosate: Is it to be banned in modern agriculture?', Environmental Pollution, 263 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114372
Citations Scopus - 18Web of Science - 20
Co-authors Megh Mallavarapu
2020 Meftaul IM, Venkateswarlu K, Dharmarajan R, Annamalai P, Megharaj M, 'Sorption-desorption of dimethoate in urban soils and potential environmental impacts', Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, 22 2256-2265 (2020) [C1]

The environmental fate and impact of dimethoate application in the urban environment were assessed in nine selected soils. The pseudo-second-order kinetics model described the kin... [more]

The environmental fate and impact of dimethoate application in the urban environment were assessed in nine selected soils. The pseudo-second-order kinetics model described the kinetics of dimethoate sorption very well in the urban soils exhibiting two distinct phases, an initial partitioning into clay surfaces and soil organic matter, and eventual diffusion into soil micropores. Dimethoate sorption in the urban soils followed the Freundlich model with an R2 value of 0.94-0.99, suggesting a multi-layered sorption on the heterogeneous surfaces. Sorption of dimethoate in the soils was influenced by clay, silt, organic matter, carboxyl and alkyl groups, and Al and Fe oxides. The undecomposed or incompletely decomposed organic matter present in the soils greatly reduced the sorption and enhanced desorption. The calculated lower values for Freundlich constant (KF) indicate the high mobility of dimethoate in the selected soils. Also, the values of groundwater ubiquity score (GUS), leachability index (LIX), hysteresis index (HI), and coefficient of distribution (Kd) for dimethoate in the soils clearly suggest that the insecticide is prone to leaching out significantly from the soil surface to groundwater. Moreover, the surface runoff from impervious places in the urban environment can be considered as a direct source of groundwater contamination, thereby affecting the quality of potable water besides posing a threat to non-target organisms of ecological importance and food safety. Thus, the present novel study suggests that the application of dimethoate in the urban environment having impervious surfaces must be judicious in order to minimize the potential human and ecological health risks.

DOI 10.1039/d0em00337a
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Megh Mallavarapu
2020 Md Meftaul I, Venkateswarlu K, Dharmarajan R, Annamalai P, Megharaj M, 'Pesticides in the urban environment: A potential threat that knocks at the door', Science of the Total Environment, 711 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134612
Citations Scopus - 48Web of Science - 42
Co-authors Megh Mallavarapu
2020 Liu Y, Qi F, Fang C, Naidu R, Duan L, Dharmarajan R, Annamalai P, 'The effects of soil properties and co-contaminants on sorption of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in contrasting soils', Environmental Technology and Innovation, 19 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.eti.2020.100965
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Luchun Duan, Ravi Naidu, Fangjie Qi, Yanju Liu, Cheng Fang
2020 Meftaul IM, Venkateswarlu K, Dharmarajan R, Annamalai P, Megharaj M, 'Movement and Fate of 2,4-D in Urban Soils: A Potential Environmental Health Concern', ACS Omega, 5 13287-13295 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1021/acsomega.0c01330
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Megh Mallavarapu
2016 Prasath A, Panneerselvan L, Provatas A, Naidu R, Megharaj M, 'Genotoxicity assessment of acute exposure of 2, 4-dinitroanisole, its metabolites and 2, 4, 6-trinitrotoluene to Daphnia carinata', ECOTOXICOLOGY, 25 1873-1879 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1007/s10646-016-1709-8
Citations Scopus - 10Web of Science - 9
Co-authors Megh Mallavarapu, Ravi Naidu, Logeshwaran Panneerselvan
Show 5 more journal articles

Conference (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2019 Naidu R, Fang C, Dharmarajan R, Duan L, Annamalai P, 'The Effect of pH and Ionic Strength on Sorption of PFOS Using Soils with Different TOC', Adelaide (2019)
Co-authors Cheng Fang, Luchun Duan, Ravi Naidu
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 3
Total funding $1,088,873

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20182 grants / $968,873

Identify the chemistry and transport mechanisms of the ingredients of AFFF in soil and groundwater$651,422

Funding body: CRC CARE Pty Ltd

Funding body CRC CARE Pty Ltd
Project Team Doctor Yanju Liu, Doctor Fangjie Qi, Professor Ravi Naidu, Doctor Dawit Bekele, Doctor Prasath Annamalai, Doctor Cheng Fang, Doctor Raja Dharmarajan, Dr Sreenivasulu Chadalavada
Scheme Research Project
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2022
GNo G1801032
Type Of Funding CRC - Cooperative Research Centre
Category 4CRC
UON Y

Investigate the toxicity of PFAS and development of guidance in AFFF impacted area in WA$317,451

Funding body: CRC CARE Pty Ltd

Funding body CRC CARE Pty Ltd
Project Team Doctor Yanju Liu, Doctor Fangjie Qi, Doctor Mezbaul Bahar, Professor Megh Mallavarapu, Professor Ravi Naidu, Doctor Prasath Annamalai
Scheme Research Project
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2021
GNo G1801030
Type Of Funding CRC - Cooperative Research Centre
Category 4CRC
UON Y

20171 grants / $120,000

50:50 Scholarship$120,000

Funding body: Agilent Technologies Australia Pty Ltd

Funding body Agilent Technologies Australia Pty Ltd
Project Team Professor Ravi Naidu, Doctor Mahmud Rahman, Doctor Prasath Annamalai, Mrs Shabnam Bahremand Abrasi, Doctor Raja Dharmarajan, Mr Mohmmad Shaike
Scheme 50:50 Scholarship
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2020
GNo G1701453
Type Of Funding C3100 – Aust For Profit
Category 3100
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current3

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2020 PhD Pesticide Fate and Behaviour in Urban Soils in Relation to Contamination and Remediation PhD (Environment Remediation), College of Engineering, Science and Environment, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2019 PhD Chemometrics Based Spectroscopy For Emerging Contaminants PhD (Environment Remediation), College of Engineering, Science and Environment, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2017 PhD Pesticide Use and Food Safety PhD (Environment Remediation), College of Engineering, Science and Environment, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
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Dr Prasath Annamalai

Position

Research Associate
Global Centre for Environmental Remediation (GCER)
Global Centre for Environmental Remediation
College of Engineering, Science and Environment

Contact Details

Email prasath.annamalai@newcastle.edu.au

Office

Room ATC
Building Advanced Technology Centre.
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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