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LIFE projects highlighted at Italian workshop on treatment and reuse of dredged sediment

Photo: LIFE12 ENV/IT/000442

03 March 2016 Two Italian LIFE projects, LIFE CLEANSED (LIFE12 ENV/IT/000652) and SEKRET Life (LIFE12 ENV/IT/000442), presented their findings at a workshop organised by the region of Tuscany on 24 February 2016 in Florence. Both projects are dedicated to the treatment and reuse of sediment dredged from rivers and ports. They contributed to the workshop session, ‘Dredging in ports: a challenge to the environment’.

The workshop was attended by, among others, Federica Fratoni, councillor for the environment of the region of Tuscany; Giovanni Motta the Manager of environmental services for the port authority of Livorno; Elizabeth Scialanca, Desk Officer (DG ENV LIFE Unit), European Commission; and NEEMO project monitor Roberto Ghezzi .
Ms Fratoni commented on the success of the Tuscan LIFE projects, and their role in implementing Community policies on key issues such as environmental protection and sustainable development. “The result of technical research and innovation shows how a sensitive issue such as dredging of the ports can provide resources and environmental effects of great value,” she said. “So we hope that the work supported by European funding can progress in this area and produce results beneficial to the environment, the economy and infrastructure development.”

The LIFE CLEANSED project is demonstrating an innovative, integrated, multi-sector approach for the smart and sustainable management of dredged river sediments. The project is showing how polluted sediment can be transformed into a valuable material, for use in plant nurseries and for road building, via a specific decontamination treatment. In particular, the project has demonstrated sediment reuse as a substrate for growing ornamental species and as a material for building a hundred meters of cycle path. Find out more on the project’s website.

SEKRET Life is demonstrating that sediment dredged from port waters, which is contaminated with heavy metals and hydrocarbons, can be treated using ElectroKinetic Remediation (EKR). The project’s EKR demonstration plant in the port of Livorno is showing the environmental and economic benefits of this solution, with cleaned sediment being used for banks to build docks rather than being landfilled. Read more on the SEKRET Life website.

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L’assessore all’ ambiente della Regione Toscana Fratoni commenta i progetti Life Sekret e Life Cleansed, dedicati al dragaggio dei porti, nell’ambito dell’evento svoltasi a Firenze il 24 febbraio u.s. Due esempi virtuosi realizzati in Toscana di messa in pratica delle politiche comunitarie. L’Europa li ha segnalati come progetti “succesfull” sui temi fondamentali  della tutela ambientale e dello sviluppo sostenibile.  Il commento dell’assessore Fratoni

Fratoni su progetti dragaggio

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    Il nostro video: La bonifica elettrocinetica di sedimenti marini


VideoSEKRET

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Il dragaggio dei porti: una sfida per l’ambiente – I progetti Life SEKRET e CLEANSED per il trattamento dei sedimenti e il loro riuso nelle infrastrutture e nel vivaismo

Wednesday 24 February 2016 Regione Toscana – Settore Tutela della Natura e del Mare – Auditorium Consiglio regionale Via Cavour, 4 – Firenze 10.00 Desk Officer and External Monitor arrival. Welcome to the participants. Round-table conference coordinated by Massimo Orlandi and Chiara Bini (Agenzia Toscana Notizie). Presentation of projects: CLEANSED AND SEKRET

Dragaggio dei porti_Page_1 Dragaggio dei porti_Page_2 Dragaggio dei porti

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Life+ Sekret Project

The problem Sea ports must be dredged periodically for maintenance. The dredged sediments are most commonly dumped in nearby marine waters, but they are often severely contaminated with a variety of harmful chemicals, mostly heavy metal and hydrocarbon from port activities, the surrounding urban development, and sources upstream and upwind. Over time these contaminants build up to concentrations that degrade the marine environment around the port and make the sediments unsuitable for dumping in other marine environments. Today, the volume of dredged material Europe-wide is very roughly estimated at 200 million cubic meters per year, around 60% of which is contaminated (source: SedNet).

The causes Ports are most often located in embayments at the outflow of one or more rivers which carry sediment loads and dissolved contaminants that end up on the bottoms of bays. The amount of erosion upstream is multiplied by human activities such as agriculture, forestry, and construction: so sediments accumulate at an abnormally rapid rate in the placid waters of embayments at the river mouths. Upstream contamination originates from sewage and industrial discharge, agricultural and urban runoff as well as spills into port areas via rivers. Air emissions from automobiles and industry, and even from the ships themselves, are additional sources of pollutants that settle on the water and make their way into the sediments. Finally, runoff and discharges from the surrounding urban and industrial buildup that invariably develop around ports add to water and sediment contamination. Also port-associated activities cause some of the contamination: highly toxic antifoulants on ship hulls leach into the water; port industries and shipyards use toxic materials that wash into the water; contaminated bilge and ballast waters are flushed from ships and boats, and cargo handling accidents and spills are consistently sources of sediment contamination.

The solution The main objective of the SEKRET Life+ project is to demonstrate, by several dedicated actions, that sediments, dredged from the ports and exhibiting heavy metal and hydrocarbon concentrations over the law standards can be treated in a specifically equipped confined disposal facility (CDF) by electrokinetic remediation (EKR) in order to reach the compliance with such standards. The total amount of marine sediments to be treated for the removal of heavy metals and hydrocarbons was estimated within the “Preliminary remediation plan for the marine stretch of the national relevance polluted site (SIN) of Livorno” contracted out by the Port Authority to ICRAM and finalized in March 2006. It was based on a thorough site assessment including: – Complete geophysical assessment with scan sonar and sub-bottom profiler; – Taking of 195 core samples (length range: 2 to 4 m each) and 28 surface box-corer samples, for a total of 808 individually analyzed samples; – Chemical, physical, microbiological and eco-toxicological analyses of the samples. Until now, the dredging activity has been performed for commercial reasons (=keeping proper water depths required for navigation) with safety criteria to avoid risks related to the pollution level of the seabottom. The environmental dredging aimed at remediating the polluted site is not planned in the next three years. In the last 12 years, a total amount of about 1 million m3 sediments has been dredged in allotments ranging between 30,000 and 120,000 m3 each, with a daily productivity of about 750 m3/d during the works, which were not continuous. Similar figures have been estimated for the future, including the future remediation dredging which, on this basis, will last about 12 years with allotment sizes and daily productivity similar to the past. On the base of the grain-size distribution assessment performed within the same work, the sandy fraction of the sediments marked in red has a wide range of variation (10 – 90%). Dredgings with sandy fraction over 30% will be conveniently pre-treated by sediment washing, thus separating the clay/silty part retaining all the heavy metal contamination to be subsequently treated with the SEKRET technology, while the silty sediments with less than 30% sand will be directly treated by SEKRET, leading to an overall amount of about 140,000 m3 to be treated by SEKRET in ten years. A specially equipped 75,000 m2 remediation lagoon (tentative sizes 300m x 250m ) with a depth of 2m will contain those 140,000 m3. Assuming an electrode configuration with vertical anodes and cathodes, 2 m apart (this will be optimized in this project), the overall volume will be treated in 12 sections of about 1 year each, so total remediation will last exactly the same 12 years as the rementioned dredging productivity. This estimation includes also the time required for the dredging to leach out the salts. The installation will require a capacity of 800 kW/6000 A. Energy consumption will be about 150 kWh/m3. If the plans will change, a faster remediation would be possible, but it will cost more energy. If there is no time pressure, less electrical current is required.

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Sediment ElectroKinetic REmediation Technology for heavy metal pollution removal


by Bliss Drive Review