The use if leaching test methods is increasing in different areas - e.g. waste treatment and disposal, incineration of waste, burning of waste fuels, soil clean-up and resuse of cleaned soil, sludge treatment, use of secondary materials for construction etc. These leaching tests and extraction procedures are generally operationally-defined, i.e. each test applied to a specific matrix corresponds to a well defined chemical treatment which may or may not be standardized (e.g. by CEN or ISO). In many cases different types of tests are applied to similar types of matrices which limit the comparability of results. In view of these developments it was established that efforts are needed to harmonize the leaching/extraction procedures that could be adapted to different matrices and to validate the use of existing tests in other technical fields. The further development of a wider variety of leaching test methods is indeed undesirable from a regulatory point of view and for industry, owing to the risks of lack of mutual recognition of data from country to country.
The aim of the project was to discuss efforts needed to (1) harmonize the approaches in existing leaching tests and identify possible tests to be developed in the field of analysis of soil, sediments, sludges, waste, stabilized waste and construction materials, (2) exchange information among different fields and define the problems in specific fields, (3) facilitate the development of a generic approach to leaching by intensive consultation, (4) constitute a network of experts, and (5) formulate recommendations and define research needed to resolve specific issues.
The project has fulfilled its objectives in that a comprehensive report establishing the state of the art on leaching/extraction tests has been produced in the form of a book 'Harmonization of Leaching/Extraction Tests' published by Elsevier (ISBN 0-444-82808-7). The conclusions enabled to clearly define the research needs which were considered in further RTD projects selected for funding by the SM&T programme (e.g. contracts SMT4-CT96-2066 and SMT4-CT97-2160). A network of experts could be constituted which was widely facilated by the publication and dissemination of a newsletter which gathered more than 400 people from 28 countries; this initiative was pursued through the selection of a Thematic Network (contract SMT4-CT97-7512) selected for funding by the SM&T programme.
The work packages consisted of meetings between key specialists in different fields who were selected according to the adequate representation of the different expertises, the balanced representation of EU countries, the coverage of the fields in question and the participation in standardization work.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
92049 Paris La Défense
CV9 1BH Atherstone
2600 AR Delft