ENACT Extending the Monitored Natural Attenuation Toolbox for Chlorinated Solvents
| Country: European Union
| Start Date:
Project Type: RTD
| Contract Number: SN-01/24
| Organisation Type:
Consultancy, contractor or other service provider
Contaminated land-->Contaminants-->Contaminants overview
Contaminated land-->Contaminated land overview
Groundwater protection-->Groundwater processes-->Groundwater processes overview
Groundwater protection-->Groundwater protection overview
| Project objectives:
The presence of harmful chlorinated substances in the subsurface
is a large threat to our groundwater reserves. Fortunately, nature
has found several ways to destroy these compounds. In the subsurface,
both biological and chemical processes may occur that cause
degradation to non-toxic end products. This is called natural attenuation
or NA. Some of these NA processes are well-known and
can be demonstrated rather easily. For other processes that can potentially
play an important role, it is more difficult to find evidence.
Traditional methods are not suited for demonstrating these processes
and their significance in the subsurface is still unknown.
In this project, we investigate the use of a new analytical technique
called “compound specific stable isotope analysis (CSIA)” to study
the relevance of the abovementioned NA processes. With CSIA, we
can study the properties of single atoms in the contaminant molecules.
Chlorinated solvents consist of carbon and chlorine. By looking
into both types of atoms, it is possible to identify and quantify
different NA processes. CSIA for carbon is already applicable for
field application, but CSIA for chlorine has been developed very recently
and requires optimization.
The objective of the project is to optimize the use of CSIA for chlorine
and to demonstrate the use of combined carbon and chlorine
isotope analysis at tool for demonstrating natural attenuation of
At the institute WAR of the Technical University of Darmstadt in
Germany, the method for stable chlorine isotope analysis will be optimized
to make it suitable for application on samples from contaminated
groundwater. At the same time, a laboratory study will be performed
at VITO in Belgium, in which the relation between the targeted
degradation processes and the isotope analysis results will be
Since the results of the isotope analyses from field sites are difficult
to interpret and to explain, an existing computer model suitable for
interpreting carbon isotope data will be extended to make it applicable
to chlorine isotopes.
In the next phase, the method will be applied at three field sites contaminated with chlorinated solvents. At the same time, more conventional methods will
be applied to obtain a complete picture on the natural processes. The site data will be interpreted
using the developed computer model.
The results from this project will help us to understand the complex natural processes that determine the fate of this class of harmful groundwater contaminants.
| Achieved Objectives:
| Product Descriptions:
| Additional Information:
| Project Resources:
| Funding Programme(s):
SNOWMAN coordinated Call
| Link to Organisations:
Darmstadt University of Technology
National Research Center for Environment and Health
Built Environment and Geosciences Subsurfaces and Groundwater
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Mr Arnd Wieland
Who does what?
Mr Arnd Wieland
Who does what?