Soil remediation by salinity waves

Soil remediation by salinity waves

Would salinity waves mobilize colloidal particles in soil samples, thereby efficiently remediate contaminated soils?

Managing large amount of contaminated land in Europe, up to 2.5 million sites, costs ~€ 6.5 billion per year. Colloidal particles, e.g. spilled oil drops, agrochemicals (e.g. pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers) and microplastics, are one of the most common contaminants that are difficult to treat in soil pollution.

Colloidal particles can move spontaneously in solutions with a non-uniform salinity. A small change in the solute concentration across the particle can induce a huge effect. The project aims to apply brines with different salinities to remediate soil from colloidal contaminants, by applying salinity waves (alternating high and low salinity, or high-low-high…, concentrations of the specific ions, etc.).

 

It has previously been confirmed in microfluidics experiments that the particles can move in 1 D capillaries under varying salinity. The new experimental program is to verify the possibility to clean the ground from multiple contaminants in the experiments performed with the application of the 2D and 3D microfluidics, on the glass micromodels and sand packs.

 

The cleaning approach is expected to be a simple, cost-effective, and energy-saving method, which can minimize the overall environmental impact of soil treatment.

 

Main supervisor:

Alexander Shapiro

Contact

Tian Wang
Postdoc
DTU Chemical Engineering

Contact

Alexander Chapiro
Associate Professor
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 28 81