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Isotopic and molecular techniques for determining the efficiency of in-situ bioremediation and chemical oxidation of chlorinated compounds


"At industrial-related polluted sites chlorinated solvents, as chloroform (CF), carbon tetrachloride (CT), trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) are common groundwater contaminants. Due to their high toxicity and mobility becomes obvious how important knowledge of their natural attenuation processes is with regard to cost-effective management of contaminated sites and accomplishing the environmental quality standards established in the field of European Water Policy. In Europe, there is currently an estimated legacy of nearly three million contaminated sites that need to be remediated. The present project constitutes a step forward from previous studies developed by the host organisation at a fractured bedrock aquifer polluted with chlorinated solvents in Odena, Catalonia, Spain. Although this site has been thoughtfully investigated with respect to geology, chemistry, and hydrogeology, it has not yet been investigated into much detail with respect to the biology. The conclusions of these studies helped to distinguish two different areas of future action in which two different remediation strategies are planned: (1) In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) and (2) bioremediation, respectively. IMOTEC-BOX aims to determine the efficiency of these two approaches from laboratory to field scale by the application of innovative stable isotopic and molecular tools. Specific objectives of this research include: (1) evaluation of different oxidation reactions to realize potentiality and limitations at field scale, (2) better understanding of the biodegradation/metabolic processes occurring naturally in the aquifer, (3) evaluation of the impact of the addition of different electron acceptors/donors on the indigenous microbial community composition and the rates of biodegradation for potential in situ biostimulation (4) tracking the efficiency of the selected remediation techniques at field scale by isotopic fractionation and molecular biomarkers."

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Gran Via De Les Corts Catalanes 585
08007 Barcelona

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Xavier Gutierrez (Mr.)
EU contribution
€ 75 000