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Evaluation and improvement of the bioavailibility of polluants in soils and sediments for better remedial practices and risks assessment methods

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The research investigations into risk assessment and reclamation of abandoned Waste disposal sites and contaminated industrial sites elicite two majo bottlenecks. The first one deals With the processes governing the biological availability (bioavailability) of pollutants in the environment and especially in soil, sediment, subsoil and groundwater systems. The second one deals With the lack of suitable pilot scale soil (or sediment) reactors to identify, understand and characterize the former processes.
Concerning the bioavailability of pollutants in soil and sediments, the first main objective of the proposed research programme is to identify, understand and characterize the main processes involved. These processes influence both the acuteness of induded toxicity effect on organisms and the kinetics of biological degradation and thus the safety and efficiency of remedial practices. They include physico-chemical processes related to Pollutants availability but also processes related to organism availability : microbial mobility limitations, physiological and ecological limiting factors. The expected achievement for this first main task is the development of suitable concepts and associated numerical models Which Will be able to simulate the main processes governing the bioavailability of pollutants in soils or sediments. These tools Will be designed, improved and validated using pilot soil reactors either With a scale-up or a scale-down approach. Then, the second main objective is to develop reliable risk assessment methods and to design innovative practices for biological remediation taking into account bioavailability aspect. These practical tools will be checked and validated on real scale contaminated systems. This application and validation stage Will give to the developed practices and risk assessment methods a precompetitive character and Will allow to test rapid non invasive techniques for characterizing the bioavailability of real scale contaminations.

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Institut de Recherches Hydrologiques
EU-Beitrag
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Rue Gabriel PÎri 11 BIS
54515 Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy
Frankreich

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