Linking the fundamental concepts of sediment pollution remediation and ecotoxicity for improved engineering designs

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Civil Engineering and Geosciences

Abstract

This proposal will bring together sediment remediation engineers, ecotoxicologists and hydrogeochemists at an early stage of their career. They will gather for a one week launch event at Newcastle University to learn about each others conceptual understanding of sediment pollution issues and to discuss feasible solutions to these. The launch activities will include discipline hopping in oral presentations, one-on-one pairing of researchers from different disciplines explaining their research efforts to each other, practical training in the calibration and use of pollutant fate modelling tools, visits to local sites with sediment pollution, group discussion of possible solutions to international case studies of sediment pollution, and the conceptual design of better interdisciplinary models of sediment pollution and its effect on sediment-dwelling and aquatic organisms.During the launch event the researchers will submit proposals for people exchange activities with the partner institutions. Such individual visits will allow the researchers to deepen the mutual understanding of work at other institutions and in other disciplines. It is expected that future international and interdisciplinary research collaborations will emerge from such opportunities, and that the established personal contacts will continue to pay dividends throughout the career of the young participants.
 
Description The network grant funded an international workshop bringing together environmental engineers, microbiologists, geochemists and ecotoxicologists to discuss novel sediment remediation technologies. The key findings from follow-on collaborative research were that the addition of a few percent by weight of a strong sorbent material such as activated carbon to contaminated sediment can reduce the bioavailability of persistent organic pollutants by up to 90 percent. But side-effects on sensitive organisms such as Lumbriculus variegatus need to be further evaluated.
Exploitation Route This workshop led to new contacts with international academics which resulted in research collaboration with international, academic and non-academic patners (i.e. oil companies) on the use of sorbents for in-situ sediment remediation. The workshop identified needs for further research, for instance on unintended ecological side-effects of sediment remediation technologies. The workshop also launched a field sampling campaign to investigate for the first time antibiotic resistance gene abundance in a Cuban river in relation to wastewater inputs.
Sectors Environment

 
Description This workshop led to new contacts with international academics which resulted in research collaboration and joint publications on the use of sorbents for the restoration of contaminated sediments. This novel in-situ remediation technology has rapidly progressed from the first laboratory trials to the first full-scale application in November 2013 to restore Mirror Lake in the State of Delaware.
First Year Of Impact 2009
Sector Environment
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Humboldt Fellowship for Senior Scientists
Amount € 32,500 (EUR)
Funding ID GRO/1146395 STP 
Organisation Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 
Sector Public
Country Germany
Start 09/2012 
End 12/2014
 
Description Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen 
Organisation Eberhard Karls University of Tubingen
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
Start Year 2007
 
Description Inst of Scientific and Tech Info of Cuba 
Organisation Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of Cuba
Country Cuba 
Sector Academic/University 
Start Year 2007
 
Description Norwegian Geotechnical Institute 
Organisation Norwegian Geotechnical Institute
Country Norway 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2007
 
Description University of Joensuu 
Organisation University of Eastern Finland
Country Finland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I contributed modelling expertise to an experimental investigation of ecotoxic sorbent effects on a sediment-dwelling organism. This resulted in a joint scientific publication.
Collaborator Contribution UEF contributed experimental data to an investigation of ecotoxic sorbent effects on a sediment-dwelling organism. This resulted in a joint scientific publication.
Impact Joint scientific publication.
Start Year 2007
 
Description University of Manitoba 
Organisation University of Manitoba
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
Start Year 2007
 
Description University of Maryland Baltimore County 
Organisation University of Maryland
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The collaboration started with EP/F012934/1 and continues with GII113. My research team contributed modelling expertise to UMBCs experimental investigation of sorbent-based sediment remediation. This has resulted in two joint publications in scientific journals. I examined a PhD student at UMBC in 2013.
Collaborator Contribution UMBC researchers shared experimental data for joint publications in scientific journals. Prof Ghosh, Dr Schwartz and two PhD students participated in the Urban Water Research workshop held in July 2014 in Newcastle. Prof Ghosh co-authored an AEESP news item with Dr Werner.
Impact Two joint scientific publications, including a cover page feature article in the most prestigious subject journal Environmental Science and Technology. The collaboration is interdisciplinary and involves chemistry, environmental engineering and mathematics.
Start Year 2007
 
Description University of Patras 
Organisation University of Patras
Country Greece 
Sector Academic/University 
Start Year 2007