Prof. Dr. Eckard Helmers

... is Professor at Trier University of Applied Sciences since 1998. He is teaching mainly chemistry subjects, with emphasis on environmental chemistry. As an analytical chemist he is interested in pollution impact evaluation of all environmental matrices including toxicological aspects, having published some 50 scientific papers. He is also co-editor of the scientific journal Environmental Science & Pollution Research, now Environmental Sciences Europe, since 1999. As well he is a member of the Section Board for 'Sustainable Engineering and Science' of the journal Sustainability.
Initially coming from the field of marine sciences, where he received his PhD, he has been conducting research on automobile emissions for over 25 years. Particularly, he has been publishing on the environmental impact of the European diesel car boom since more than a decade. He is engaged in research projects in co-operation with the EU commission's Joint Reserch Center since a couple of years.

As a director of IfaS (Institute for Applied Material Flow Research) he was co-heading the Department for Sustainable Mobility where he initiated the conversion of combustion engine cars to electric cars, accompanied by a life cycle assessment exhibiting that “eConversion” can ensure a minimum environmental impact of individual mobility by automobiles.

At his university department, the Faculty for Environmental Technology and Planning, he is particularly engaged in internationalization, initiating exchanges with university partners abroad since 1998. He has been a visiting professor and scientist at universities in Singapore, USA, Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Luxembourg and Croatia, and was engaged in several international graduate teaching projects at Environment campus Birkenfeld.



studies of biology and chemistry at Universities of Oldenburg and Göttingen

diploma degree in chemistry at University of Göttingen (MS Sc. eq.)

Dissertation / Ph.D. at Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar- and Marine Research (Bremerhaven) in Analytical Chemistry / Marine Chemistry

Professional work

Scientific associate at Institute for Inorganic Chemistry/University of Göttingen

Scientific associate at Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany / Participation in/head of scientific marine expeditions

Head of analytical dep. / Environmental protection agency Stuttgart, Germany

Assistant Prof. at University of Bremen, Germany

Prof. for Analytical Chemistry at Environment Campus Birkenfeld, Germany


see also Google scholar profile


arranged according to topics

(conference contributions not considered)

*) peer reviewed


Sustainability subjects in university education

*E. Helmers, F. Ilchmann (2019)
Sustainability Subjects in University Education - Development of a Comprehensive Indicator System and Quantitative Analysis of  Degree Programs at German Universities. European  Journal  of  Sust. Development  Res. 3(4), em0092, pp 1-17.

Traffic emissions/sustainable mobility/climate change mitigation

*M. Weiss, K. C. Cloos, E. Helmers (2020)
Energy efficiency trade -offs in small to large electric vehicles. Environmental Sciences Europe 32:46

*E. Helmers, J. Dietz, M. Weiss (2020)
Sensitivity Analysis in the Life-Cycle Assessment of Electric vs. Combustion Engine Cars under Approximate Real-World Conditions. Sustainability MDPI 12: 1241.

*M. Weiss, L. Irrgang, A. Kiefer, J. Roth, E. Helmers  (2020)
Mass- and power-related efficiency trade-offs and CO2 emissions of compact passenger cars. Journal of Cleaner Production 243: 118326

*M. Kalverkamp, E. Helmers, A. Pehlken (2020)
Impacts of Life Cycle Inventory Databases on Life Cycle Assessments: A review by means of a drivetrain case study. Journal of Cleaner Production 269: 121329

*M. Weiss, A. Zerfass, E. Helmers  (2019)
Declining prices for fully electric and plug-in hybrid cars - An assessment of learning rates, user costs, and the costs for mitigating CO2 and air pollutant emissions. Journal of Cleaner Production 212: 1478-1489

*E. Helmers, J. Leitao, U. Tietge, T. Butler (2019)
CO2-equivalent emissions from European passenger vehicles in the years 1995–2015 based on real-world use: Assessing the climate benefit of the European “diesel boom”. Atmos. Environ. 198: 122–132.!

*J. Pinto, O. Mistage, P. Bilotta, E. Helmers (2018)
Road-rail intermodal freight transport as a strategy for climate change mitigation.         
Environmental Development 25: 100-110

*S. Sgouridis, E. Helmers, M. Al Hadhrami (2017)
Light-duty electric vehicles in the Gulf. Techno-economic assessment and policy implications.
Int. Journal of Sustainable Transportation, pp 1-15

*E. Helmers, M. Weiss (2017)
Advances and critical aspects in the life-cycle assessment of battery-electric cars (review). Energy and Emission Control Technologies, Vol. 5, pp 1—18
*E.  Helmers, J. Dietz, S. Hartard (2017)
Electric Car Life Cycle Assessment Based on Real-world Mileage and the Electric Conversion Scenario. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. Published online 7-2015, printed Vol. 22 (1), pp 15–30
*A. Moro, E. Helmers (2017)
A new hybrid method reducing the gap between WTW and LCA in the carbon footprint assessment of electric vehicles. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. Published online 9-2015, printed Vol. 22 (1), pp 4–14
E. Helmers (2015)
Possible Resource Restrictions for the Future Large-Scale Production of Electric Cars. Springer Int. Publ. In: S. Hartard, W. Liebert (eds.), Competition and Conflicts on Resource Use, Natural Resource Management and Policy 46, pp 121-131

*M. Cames, E. Helmers (2013)
Critical evaluation of the European diesel car boom - global comparison, environmental effects and various national strategies.
Environmental Sciences Europe (ESEU) 25:15 (22 pages);

*E. Helmers, P. Marx (2012)
Electric cars: technical characteristics and environmental impacts.
Environmental Sciences Europe (ESEU) 24: 14 (15 pages);
Reprinted in:Transportation and the Environment - Assessments and Sustainability (Ed. G. Ionescu), 2016, CRC Press, Chapter 9, pp 207-242

*E. Helmers (2010)
Assessment of the environmental sustainability of modern vehicle drives - on the way from the Diesel car boom towards electric vehicles (in German)
Umweltwiss Schadst Forsch 22: 564-578


E. Helmers (2010)
Research is accompanying the electric car on the way to the market (in German).
Umweltwiss Schadst Forsch 22: 736-737

E. Helmers (2009)
The car of the future (in German)
204 pp. Wiley-VCH

*E. Helmers (2009)
Quantification of fine dust emission, emission thresholds, NOx, related toxicology and Low Emission Zones (in German)
Umweltwiss Schadst Forsch 21: 118-123

*E. Helmers (2006)
The costs of the Dieselboom - overview (in German)
UWSF - Z. Umweltchem Ökotox 18(1) 30-36

E. Helmers (2006)
Background of the diesel car boom - consequences of a 'CO2-First'-politics (in German)
UWSF - Z. Umweltchem Ökotox 18(1) 3-4


Platinum group elements (PGE) in the environment

E. Helmers, K. Kümmerer (2000)
Sources and Sinks of Anthropogenic Platinum Fluxes
In: Anthropogenic Platinum group elements emissions (Ed: F. Zereini, F. Alt)
Springer publ., Berlin, pp. 15-24

E. Helmers (2000)
PGE emissions of automobile catalysts - identifying their track in the environment. A challenge to analytical strategy and assessment
In: Anthropogenic Platinum group elements emissions (Ed: F. Zereini, F. Alt)
Springer publ., Berlin, pp. 133-144

*K. Kümmerer, E. Helmers, P. Hubner, G. Mascart, M. Milandri, F. Rheinthaler, M. Zwakenberg (1999)
European hospitals as a source for platinum in comparison with other sources
Science of the Total Environment 225: 155-165

*E. Helmers, K. Kümmerer (1999)
Anthropogenic platinum fluxes: quantification of sources and sinks, and outlook
ESPR - Environ. Sci. Poll. Res. 6(1): 29-36

*E. Helmers, M. Schwarzer, M. Schuster (1998)
Comparison of Palladium and Platinum in environmental matrices:
Palladium pollution by automobile emissions?
Environ. Sci. Poll. Res. 5(1): 44-50

*E. Helmers, N. Mergel (1998)
Platinum and rhodium in the polluted environment:
studying the emissions of automobile catalysts. With emphasis on the application of CSV rhodium analysis
Fres. J. Anal. Chem. 362: 522-528

*T. Hees, B. Wenclawiak, S. Lustig, P. Schramel, M. Schwarzer, M. Schuster, D. Verstraete, R. Dams, E. Helmers (1998)
Distribution of platinum group elements (Pt, Pd, Rh) in environmental and clinical matrices:
composition, analytical techniques and scientific outlook (a review)
Environ. Sci. Poll. Res. 5(2): 105-111

*K. Kümmerer, E. Helmers (1997)
Hospital effluents as a source for platinum in the environment
The Science of the Tot. Environ. 193: 179-184

*E. Helmers (1997)
Platinum emission rate of automobiles with catalytic converters
- comparison and assessment of results from different approaches
Environ. Sci. Poll. Res. 4(2): 100-103

*E. Helmers, N. Mergel (1997)
Platin in belasteten Gräsern. Anstieg der Emissionen aus PKW-Abgaskatalysatoren:
Erster Trend aus direkten Umweltmessungen
UWSF - Z. Umweltchem. Ökotox. 9(3): 147-148

*S. Lustig, R. Schierl, F. Alt, E. Helmers, K. Kümmerer (1997)
Deposition, Verteilung sowie Bedeutung von Platin für den Menschen und sein Nahrungsnetz: Stand und Forschungsbedarf.
UWSF - Z. Umweltchem. Ökotox. 9(3): 149-152

*F. Zereini, B. Skerstupp, F. Alt, E. Helmers, H. Urban (1997)
Geochemical behaviour of platinum-group elements in particulate emissions by automobile exhaust catalysts: experimental results and environmental investigations
Science of the Total Environment, 206: 137-146

*E. Helmers (1996)
Elements accompanying platinum emitted from automobile catalysts
Chemosphere 33(1): 405-419

*E. Helmers, N. Mergel, R. Barchet (1994)
Platin in Klärschlammasche und an Gräsern
UWSF - Z. Umweltchem. Ökotox. 6(3): 130-134


Trace elements in the environment (other than PGE)

*K. Kümmerer, E. Helmers (2000)
Hospital effluents as a source for gadolinium in the aquatic environment
Environmental Science and Technology, 34:573-577

*E. Helmers, G. Wilk, K. Wippler (1995)
Lead in the urban environment - studying the strong decline in Germany
Chemosphere 30 (1): 89-101


Trace elements in seawater (RV Polarstern expditions)

*M. Rutgers v.d. Loeff, E. Helmers, G. Kattner (1997)
Continuous transects of Cd, Cu and Al in surface waters of the Atlantic Ocean (50°N to 50°S):
Correspondence and contrast with nutrient-like behaviour
Geochim. et Cosmochim. Acta 61(1): 47-61

*E. Helmers (1996)
Trace metals in suspended particulate matter of Atlantic Ocean surface water (40°N to 20°S)
Mar. Chem. 53 (1/2): 51-67

*E. Helmers, M. Rutgers v.d. Loeff (1993)
Lead and Aluminium in Atlantic surface waters (50°N to 50°S) reflecting anthropogenic and natural sources in the eolian transport
J. Geophys. Res. 98(C11): 20261-20273

*E. Helmers, L. Mart, O. Schrems (1991)
Lead in Atlantic surface waters as a tracer for atmospheric input
Fres. Z. Anal. Chem. 340: 580-584

*E. Helmers, L. Mart, M. Schulz-Baldes, W. Ernst (1990)
Temporal and spatial variations of lead concentrations in Atlantic surface waters
Mar. Poll. Bull. 21 (11): 515-518



*S. Buchinger, E. Campen, E. Helmers, V. Morosow, M. Krefft, G. Reifferscheid (2009)
Development of a freeze drying protocol for the long-term storage of S9-fraction at ambient temperatures. Cryobiology Apr; 58(2):139-44

*I. Müller, E. Helmers, et al. (1994)
Cadmium concentration in the renal cortex of kidney tumor patients and controls
J. Trace Elem. Electrolytes Health Dis. 8: 173-176

R. Barchet, K. Harzer, E. Helmers, K. Wippler (1994)
An Arsenic Overdose in a child
Bull. of the Int. Ass. of Forensic Toxicologists 25 (1): 37-39


Analysis and modelling of atmospheric trace elements

*E. Helmers, O. Schrems (1995)
Wet deposition of metals to the tropical North and the South Atlantic Ocean
Atmos. Environ. 29 (18): 2475-2484


Analytical sampling strategies

E. Helmers (2013)
Quantification of trace elements in the environment (in German).
In: Umweltinformationssysteme (Ed. P. Fischer-Stabel), H. Wichmann publ., book chapter, pp. 40-57

E. Helmers (2005)
Laboratory data generation (in German).
In: Umweltinformationssysteme (Ed. P. Fischer-Stabel), H. Wichmann publ., book chapter, pp. 34-50

E. Helmers (1997)
Sampling of sea and fresh water for the analysis of trace elements
In: Sampling and Decomposition (Ed. M. Stoeppler), Springer-Verlag, S. 26-42

U. Osberhaus, E. Helmers (1997)
In: Sampling and Decomposition (Ed. M. Stoeppler), Springer-Verlag, S. 57-73

E. Helmers, M. Schulz-Baldes (1992)
Enrichment of suspended particulate matter by continuous centrifugation of surface waters (in German)
Labor 2000: 6-10


Materials analysis

E. Helmers (1998)
Nickel emission of water boilers into drinking water (in German).
Dt. Lebensm.-Rundsch. 94(2): 50-52


Wastewater treatment

E. Helmers, K. Wippler (1999)
Elemental concentrations in sewage sludge ashes (1972 – 1994) reflecting environmental trends and sewage purification technology changes (in German).  Vom Wasser 92: 155-176




E. Helmers, M. Hesse und U. Klingebiel (1988)
Chlor-Fluor-Austausch an halogenierten 1,3-Disilazanen.
Z. anorg. allg. Chem, 565 (1988) 81-90


Global Climate Change/Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics

lecture (IMAT MS)


Sustainable Mobility (lectures)


Sustainability (history, definition), transformation, life cycle assessment (lectures)


General Chemistry (lecture and lab work)


Chemistry of the elements, Environmental Chemistry (lecture and seminar)


Organic environmental chemistry (lecture)


(Eco-)Toxicology (lecture/seminar)


Methods and strategies of Instrumental analysis/Analytical Chemistry



Prof. Dr. Eckard Helmers
Prof. Dr. Eckard Helmers, Dipl.-Chem.
Professor FB Umweltplanung/-technik - FR Umweltplanung


+49 6782 17-1213
+49 6782 17-1430


Birkenfeld | Building 9915 | Room 134


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