Background and Researchchemcatcher 3

Chemcatcher® is a passive sampling device developed by researchers at the University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK and Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden.

These cost-effective devices are used alongside, or can replace, established water monitoring approaches that rely on infrequent spot or bottle sampling.

The Chemcatcher® comprises a three-component PTFE body. Two principal designs are currently available for housing two different types of 47 mm diameter receiving phase:

3M Empore™ Chemcatcher®

Horizon Atlantic ™ Chemcatcher®


Different combinations of receiving phase disks and overlaying diffusion limiting membrane are used for monitoring the three broad classes of pollutants frequently found in the aquatic environment. These versions are known as:

  • Non-polar organics Chemcatcher®
  • Polar organics Chemcatcher®
  • Metals Chemcatcher®

All of the samplers use commercially available (manufactured by 3M or Horizon) receiving phases bound (in either a PTFE or glass fibre matrix) into 47 mm disks. These can be purchased from a number of international suppliers. These disks are produced in a wide range of chemistries, being quality assured by the manufacturer and are directly compatible with conventional laboratory sample extraction apparatus. The use of a bound receiving phase ensures that the active sampling area of the device remains constant during laboratory calibration uptake experiments and in field deployments. This increases reproducibility of the measurements.


Chemcatcher in the Media 

Passive Sampling Device Detects a Range of Pesticides and Common Pharmaceuticals

Chemcatcher ™ Passive Sampling for Acid Herbicides, River Fowey, Cornwall

Science Helps Clean up World's Rivers