Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Sediments in aquatic environments: their geochemical and mineralogical characterization, remediation, and use as secondary raw materials

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.06.01  Natural sciences and mathematics  Geology  Mineralogy and petrology 

Code Science Field
P420  Natural sciences and mathematics  Petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry 

Code Science Field
1.05  Natural Sciences  Earth and related Environmental sciences 
sediments, anthropogenic pollution, geochemistry, mineralogy, remediation, secundary raw materials, application in civil building engineering, sustainable managment.
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (24)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  21372  PhD Matej Dolenec  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  475 
2.  27655  PhD Sabina Dolenec  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2012  470 
3.  06264  PhD Tadej Dolenec  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  483 
4.  11292  PhD Vilma Ducman  Civil engineering  Technical associate  2011 - 2014  503 
5.  11897  PhD Karmen Fifer Bizjak  Civil engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2014  291 
6.  33740  PhD Andrej Ipavec  Civil engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2014  34 
7.  21593  PhD Stanislav Lenart  Civil engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2014  227 
8.  13398  MSc BOJANA LUKAČ  Chemistry  Technical associate  2011 - 2012  39 
9.  25599  PhD Alenka Mauko Pranjić  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2013  319 
10.  08314  PhD Radmila Milačič  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2011 - 2014  802 
11.  07177  PhD Breda Mirtič  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  440 
12.  05930  PhD Ana Mladenović  Geology  Head  2011 - 2014  819 
13.  09146  PhD Ana Petkovšek  Civil engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2014  961 
14.  22583  PhD Željko Pogačnik  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  157 
15.  26552  PhD Nastja Rogan Šmuc  Geology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  175 
16.  28079  PhD Polonca Ropret  Chemistry  Researcher  2011 - 2014  287 
17.  12521  PhD Andrijana Sever Škapin  Civil engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2014  428 
18.  13200  PhD Aljoša Šajna  Civil engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2014  194 
19.  18359  PhD Janez Ščančar  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2011 - 2014  677 
20.  19719  PhD Črtomir Tavzes  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  193 
21.  27508  PhD Janez Turk  Civil engineering  Researcher  2013 - 2014  215 
22.  08774  PhD Marjan Tušar  Civil engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2014  250 
23.  10968  PhD Janja Vaupotič  Chemistry  Researcher  2011 - 2014  604 
24.  07508  PhD Bojan Žlender  Civil engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2014  692 
Organisations (8)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  20,996 
2.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  90,724 
3.  0738  SALONIT ANHOVO, Building Materials, Joint - Stock Co.  Deskle  5043816000  190 
4.  0792  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering  Ljubljana  1626981  25,725 
5.  0797  University of Maribor, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Transportation Engineering and Architecture  Maribor  5089638011  12,837 
6.  1502  Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute  Ljubljana  5866324000  10,455 
7.  1555  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engeneering  Ljubljana  1627074  19,855 
8.  2316  Institute for the protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia  Ljubljana  1423215  3,816 
The project proposal is concerned with the problem of the accumulation of sediments in inland water bodies and in seawater areas next to the coast, and with the resulting reduction of some of the operational properties which these bodies of water have. Depending on their location, the problem of such accumulated sediments can be particularly severe in the case of large quantities, and if they are anthropogenically polluted. The first of these is the Port of Koper, where a total of 0.45 million m3 of sediments have to be removed annually. This sediment is silt, which is polluted with heavy metals and chlorides, and is thus a waste, for which there is insufficient storage space along the Slovenian coast. The second type of sediments are the fluvial sediments which build up behind the dams of various hydro-electric power-stations., At present those in charge of these processes solve the situation by moving the deposits from the useful volume of the accumulated water to the non-useful part, which in general means that the total quantity of sediments constantly increases, so that the volume of the reservoir behind the dam decreases. Taking into account the available information, all these sediments are anthropogenically polluted, and sometimes exceptional events such as floods can cause the pollutants to be re-sedimented onto flood-plains outside the riverbed. The third group of sediments consists of those which can be found in closed or semi-closed lakes, where, eutrophication, and consequentially the growth of large quantities of algae occurs. According to the principle "No waste, just resources", all the described types of sediments are potential raw materials, particularly in civil engineering, mainly for two reasons: in this field it is possible to use large quantities of sediments, and it is also possible, by means of different remediation processes, to permanently immobilize the hazardous substances in various types of composites. Sediments from eutrophically affected lakes promise to be suitable for the reprocessing of such sediments into artificial humus substrates for the ecological improvement of non-agricultural land. In order to define the best way to manipulate these deposits, and to improve their final applicability for the individual investigated types of sediments, it is necessary to perform a number of project tasks, in which information will be obtained: (I) about the chemical, mineralogical and mechanical-physical properties of the material, (II) about the degree and type of pollution, especially with regard to the content of biologically easily accessible pollutants, (III) about the available technologies for the removal of sediments, which are suitable for individual types of sediments, taking into account their properties and the danger of spreading pollution when manipulating the sediment during and after its removal from the water body, (IV) about acceptable procedures for the removal of water, possible separation of the inert part from the polluted part, and remediation of the latter, (V) about optimal possibilities for the environmentally safe and technologically functional implementation of sediments into construction products and structures in accordance with the principles of a sustainable building and civil engineering industry, and (VI) about methods to be used for the processing of sediments from eutrophically affected lakes into biologically acceptable soils. In the case of the activities described under points III to VI, all the requirements or limitations specified in the Slovenian legislation will be taken into account, as well as those in legislation for which it is known that it has been passed or will shortly be passed at the European level. The main aim of the project is to establish, at the national level, a sustainable framework for the management of polluted sediments from water bodies, with emphasis on their re-use in civil engineering and environmental amelioration projects.
Significance for science
In Slovenia, the removal of sediments from water bodies is carried out only sporadically, and when it is, the removed sediments are disposed of as waste. Thus, not only are precious resources wasted, but, due to the accumulated sediments, the key functions of these water bodies are reduced. In this project, it has been shown that various technologies exist which could make these sediments suitable for use in civil engineering applications, and that, in the event that they are polluted, innovative combinations with other waste-based materials can used in order to ensure the long-term remediation of toxic substances. In the field of the remediation of contaminated soils (including sediments), an international patent has been applied for, in which, based on relatively low-priced technology, and procedures which are both technically and legislation-wise feasible, polluted soil could be used to produce a construction product for embankments. Part of the research was also performed in the field of the remediation of contaminated water, where the use of zero-valent iron nanoparticles was studied. Within the scope of the research the mechanisms to be used for remediation, as well as the optimized procedures themselves, were studied, which represents an important contribution to the development of environmental science, including the remediation of sediments and water, both at the national as well as the international level. Based on co-operation with the Faculty of Natural and Technical Sciences of the "Goce Delčev" University of Štip, Macedonia, one paper was published in a technical journal. The project has also contributed to the education of a young researcher who is studying for his Ph.D. (still in progress), in which further research is being performed into the remediation of contaminated materials and water.
Significance for the country
The performed research represents a foundation of how it would be possible, within the framework of Slovenian spatial planning procedures, to rehabilitate water facilities where there are large quantities of accumulated sediments, and in particular, and of what remediation technologies could be used depending on the type of sediment, and the type of anthropogenic pollution. The idea of the project was proposed to several industrial partners, including those who have determined that dealing with sediments is a key activity, or who have, for various reasons, identified this as a problem, as well as some partners who are not directly involved with these materials in practice (but with other types of waste), but who recognize that extrapolation and optimization solutions in this field could be integrated into their practice (e.g. in the field of sludge obtained from sewage treatment works, or from galvanizing processes). This proves the fact that this topic is of broader national interest. The results of the research project will be made widely available, and will be particularly useful to co-financers, through guidelines to be published, as well as other forms of dissemination of the results to the wider public (managers of water bodies, holders of waste materials - from different fields of work, and designers and contractors in the construction industry). In terms of the use and remediation of sediments by means of industrial waste, as well as new practice in the treatment of other kinds of waste (all of which should have their end-use in the construction industry) the expected synergies will bring positive environmental and economic impacts. This will reduce the burden on the environment since smaller quantities of natural resources will be used, locally-sourced raw materials will be better utilized, and the use of new materials and processes will also reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Just the removal of sediments will also have a significant effect on the greater functionality of water facilities, and improve the quality of these ecosystems. Through the maintenance and enhancement of the environment the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Republic of Slovenia will undoubtedly be improved. The project will also result in a product whose use has already been validated on a test field, which means that it is practically at the marketing stage.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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