1) Complete decontamination of dredged polluted harbour sediments from heavy metals and hydrocarbons: 80% removal for Cd, Hg and Pb, and up to 95% abatement for Ni, Zn, As, Cu and PAH, resulting in full compliance with legislation.
2) Reduction of volume by the dewatering action of the innovative technology: the water moves towards the negatively charged cathode for electro-osmosis, leading to a reduction of the 50% of the total sediment volume; subsequent decrease of the volume to be stored in long-shore CDF, doubling its service life.
3) Solution of environmental issues related to contaminated sediment management: instead of sending non-compliant sediments to relative hazardous waste landfills or of dumping them at the open sea, EKR technology will allow complete decontamination of harbour sediments and beneficial re-use. This will result in a 100% saving on long distance sea/land transport of sediments, and reduced air and water pollution. Sediments will be – disposed in a long-shore CDF that could be converted either into a port industrial/commercial facility or into a recreational area – re-used for habitat restoration/enhancement or beach nourishment, aquaculture activities, parks and recreation, forestry, agriculture and horticulture, construction and industrial use and so on, with a substantial reduction of overall projects costs. The expected economic impact of the new sediment management for construction and maintenance works will be of at least 15 million € on triennial basis, only taking into account the Livorno Port Authority 2010-2012 Operative Plan. Furthermore, compared to previous EK applications and experiments, the energy cost will be reduced of 70%. Indeed, a substantial amount of the electrical energy is used to get rid of Na and Cl ions before the other ions are being mobilized; a preliminary action will lead to an accelerated Na and Cl reduction prior of EKR application in order to abate salinity, thus reducing energy consumption.