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Content archived on 2024-05-15

Ce based instrument using microsystem and biosensor technologies for bioremediation monitoring applications


Problems to be solved
Throughout Europe bioremediation is being utilised to remediate sites that have been contaminated with hazardous waste. The toxic pollutants at these sites may consist of metallic elements, organic chemicals, petrochemicals, pesticides, biologically hazardous waste and other hazardous materials associated with the disposal of industrial by-products and domestic waste. These areas pose health risks by resultant contamination of the land and ultimately water reserves.
Sampling and analysis of soil, groundwater and leach ate is an essential part of the risk assessment process, in the evaluation of polluted sites as well as in the ongoing tracking of a remediation programme at a landfill site.
Scientific objectives and approach
The aim of this work is the development of a cost effective, rapid, portable analysis system for the measurement of bio available toxic metal or organic contaminants, which may be present at natural attenuation landfill sites requiring remediation. The proposed system is intended to be used as a tool in the monitoring or characterisation of a site by discrete measurement. A portable system will be developed, comprising a miniaturised extraction and separation device employing capillary electrophoresis, detectors for specific analyses (metals or organics) by biosensors or immuno sensors and dedicated instrumentation to process the signals generated. Development of extraction procedures for the analysis of plant material will also be part of the project, to be used when phytoremediation is employed as part of the site remediation process. Biosensors to detect toxic metal will use bio-engineered proteins to interact with bio available metals on an electrode surface. The conformational change in the engineered protein will allow a specific metal to be detected. Extraction employing superheated water extraction and enzyme immunosensors will be used to monitor organic pollutants (PAH's and PCB's).

Expected impacts
Pollution of the soil and groundwater by metal and hydrocarbon contaminants is an ongoing and complex environmental problem. Within the European Union, the proposed directives on landfill sites require that countries should report on the capacity, operation and environmental conditions of landfills. Cost effective alternatives to traditional physical and chemical methods of remediation are required together with methods to monitor the remediation process. Individual member countries will differ in assigned priorities, activities and focus but all have in common the need for effective and accurate measurement of contaminants.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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G ransmore Green , Felsted
United Kingdom

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Total cost
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Participants (3)