Sustainable site remediation

The mission of the research related to sustainable site remediation is to develop and deliver novel tools for site characterization, site experimental investigation and modeling. The tools enable site owners, consultants and researchers to advance sustainable site remediation.

Site characterisation

ORBit, the Research Group Soil Spatial Inventory Techniques at the Department of Soil Management, aims at advancing the three-dimensional spatial inventory of soil properties. ORBit's research is focused on the application of geophysical sensors (e.g. electromagnetic induction, ground penetrating radar and magnetometry) to investigate soils in a non-invasive way. In addition, ORBit has established expertise in the application of geostatistics to sampling strategy design and to interpolation of soil data.

For more information about ORBit's research activities we refer to

 [Picture: The use of mobile electromagnetic induction sensors to map soils]

Site modeling and risk assessment

Knowledge on mutual interactions between water/fluid flow, transport and reactions of chemicals in soils is necessary to design soil management and soil remediation measures. To this purpose, the research group of soil contamination and soil remediation develops soil and groundwater reactive transport models for in-situ remediation technology assessment, sustainability appraisal tools to evaluate remediation options and models to perform impact assessment of soil pollution.  The research group closely collaborates with the Flemish Institute for Technological Research.

[Picture: Model predictions of CAH (DCE and VC) contaminated groundwater plumes and impact of a permeable reactive barrier on removal of CAHs]

Site experimental investigation

The research of the department of Applied Analytical and Physical Chemistry deals with physical chemical and ecochemical aspects of remediation of soils related to heavy metals. The research group is highly specialized in the determination of the occurrence, speciation and reactivity of heavy metal contamination. This knowledge is essential to select and develop targeted remedial options. Specific attention is paid to phytoremediation and more specifically the processing of biomass originating from contaminated soils.