Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Novel soil remediation technologies and their influence on soil functioning

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.03.00  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production   

Code Science Field
B410  Biomedical sciences  Soil science, agricultural hydrology 
Soil, heavy metals, remediation technologis, bio-availability, soil qality
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (7)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  11155  PhD Damjana Drobne  Biology  Researcher  2007 - 2009  856 
2.  25506  PhD Neža Finžgar  Plant production  Junior researcher  2007 - 2009  85 
3.  06736  Andreja Hodnik  Plant production  Researcher  2007 - 2009  137 
4.  08259  PhD Domen Leštan  Plant production  Head  2007 - 2009  398 
5.  05755  Janez Rupreht  Plant production  Researcher  2007 - 2009  316 
6.  04727  Marjan Šporar  Plant production  Researcher  2007 - 2009  250 
7.  26538  PhD Metka Udovič  Plant production  Junior researcher  2007 - 2009  57 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  65,921 
The purpose of this research project is to develop new technology for the remediation of contaminated soils, to test new assay for the evaluation of remediation efficiency, and to observe post-remediation soil functioning. Specifically, remediation will be designed as continuous soil washing (leaching) process for treatment of soils contaminated with heavy metals and dually contaminated soils (heavy metals and organic pollutants), with recycling of washing solution in a closed loop. Chelating agent ethylenediamine tetraacetate (EDTA) will be used for extraction of heavy metals and selected surfactants for organic contaminants. Advanced oxidation processes (ozonation/ UV irradiation, electrochemical oxidation) will be tested for treatment and reuse of washing solution. Natural and chemically modified anion-exchange materials will be tested to separate EDTA complexes from the washing solution. To recover EDTA from its heavy metal complexes trans-complexation using Na-silicate and cyclic tetraazo tetraacetic acids will be studied. For the evaluation of remediation efficiency the ultrastructural alterations of the digestive gland epithelium of a terrestrial isopod P. scaber will be tested as a biomarker of bio-available heavy metals, residual in soil after remediation. Soil functioning, specifically the effect of soil biotic factors on sequestration (reduced availability), or mobilization (increased availability and recontamination) of heavy metals residual in soil after remediation will be studied, using earhworms as models organisms. The ecological succession in remediated soil and resulting changes in soil quality indicators (chemical, physical and biological) will be followed during 2-years observation period.
Significance for science
Heavy metals contaminated soils are hazardous for the environment and humans. For metals such is Pb, which is strongly bound to the soil solid phases and for calcareous soils, EDTA soil extraction/leaching was shown to be a promising remediation option. The main problems of EDTA-based soil remediation are as follows: 1.) Large amount of generated waste waters contaminated with EDTA and heavy metals. 2.) The need for large quantities of clean process waters for rinsing of EDTA mobilized metal species from remediated soil. 3.) The fate of metals residual in soil after remediation (in biologically un-accessible forms) is unknown. EDTA can not remove metals from soil entirely. We developed a cost/effective soil remediation method. Investigation continue on the long-term effect of soil remediation on soil quality and functioning.
Significance for the country
Soil contamination with heavy metals is undesirable consequence of urbanisation, industrial activities, traffic and intensive agriculture. The toxicity of heavy metals in the environment on human health and ecosystem functioning is well known and documented. In Slovenia areas with predominantly Pb, Zn and Cd contaminated soils include Mežica Valley, town of Litija, Jesenice and Celje vicinity and linearly contaminated soils around roads with busy traffic. Soils in old vineyards are contaminated with Cu. The projects aimed towards developing cost-efficient, environmentally safe and soil-friendly soil remediation method. Long term remediation efficiency and the effect of remediation on soil functioning was investigated.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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