The sprint is over! Last week, SEDREMED partners met in Belgium for their first annual meeting. Our technology provider IDRABEL hosted us in their headquarters in Wavre.
February 7 – 9, 2023
On the first day, our scientists worked together at the Wavre laboratories of IDRABEL, to optimize the experiments on enhanced bioremediation of contaminated marine sediments.
On the second day, all partners coordinated with the technical monitoring expert to present the milestones and results obtained in their respective activities and, above all, to define the next steps.
We also thank the Political Intelligence team for hosting part of the annual meeting and the expert roundtable on “Technological and policy solutions for the management of contaminated sediment in the EU” that was organised after the annual meeting.
Screening of microbial mixtures (Action B1):
During the first day of laboratory trials, IDRABEL (IDRA) conducted the screening for the adaptation of the technology with the prototype of EKOGRID (EKO).
IDRABEL scientists have selected a mixture of microorganisms for the bioremediation of Bagnoli sediments by adapting the BIO-VASE product. Lab-scale test and prototyping of the EKO-IDRA technology (Action B1):
The technicians of IDRABEL and EKOGRID conducted a prototyping experiment of the two technologies to work in synergy.
The experiment served to demonstrate the ability of EKO technology to facilitate the entry of the IDRA BIO-VASE mixture into the sediments to be decontaminated.
The experiment was conducted in an aquarium that simulated the conditions present in Bagnoli. The EKO electrodes were installed in a 100-litre aquarium, by monitoring the pH, redox potential, and conductivity it was verified that the system was in aerobic conditions, an essential aspect to allow the microbial growth of BIO-VASE.
Once the basis for conducting the experiment had been established, the mixture of BIO-VASE microorganisms was inserted into the dedicated tubes. After 60′ from the insertion of the microorganisms in the system, the sediment was sampled and observed under an optical microscope to verify that the microorganisms and the mineral supports of which the mixture is composed had adequately integrated into the sediments.
08/02/23 at the offices of Idrabel, Wavre.
Annual meeting and presentation of the results achieved by each partner
Project Coordination (Action E1):
The day began with an overview of activities by the coordinator (Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, SZN), the presentation allowed all partners to be updated on the progress of current activities and to define priorities for the coming months.
Authorizations and synergies between the project results and the decontamination plan of the Bagnoli marine area (Action A2 and B4):
INVITALIA, as the manager of the contaminated site, is responsible for the permitting & procurement action of the project (A2) and for the coordination between the testing activities and the integral remediation project of the area (B4). To proceed with the integration of LIFE SEDREMED’s technologies in the full reclamation plan of the coastal area, INVITALIA has asked the partners to receive the results of the laboratory and mesocosm-scale tests by June 2023 (B4).
INVITALIA also presented to the project partners the activities underway for the executive design of the reclamation works, including the start of tests for dredging and capping the seabed. Finally, after a brief discussion with the other partners, INVITALIA informed the Naples Port Authority of the dates for reserving the areas involved in the experimentation (A2).
Remediation Technologies (Actions B1 and B2):
IDRABEL and EKOGRID presented to all project partners the results obtained regarding the adaptation of the technologies to the marine environment as described in the previous section (B1). The screening process that led to the optimisation of the BIO-VASE mixture, which was then used during the laboratory tests, and how it will be inserted together with the electrodes into the sediments (B2) was also explained in detail.
Monitoring and sustainability (Actions B3 and C1):
UNIVPM presented the results of the laboratory analysis on the reduction of pollutants by testing the BIO-VASE mixture under different conditions. The tests conducted show that the degradation of hydrocarbons (PAHs) is increased by the BIO-VASE product.
UNIVPM is also responsible for the sustainability assessment of the LIFE SEDREMED applications in terms of environmental (LCA – Life Cycle Analysis), economic (LCC – Life Cycle Cost) and social (social-LCA) aspects. The action leader discussed with partners the crucial aspects of the LCA assessment that is about to be launched (C1).
The partner ISODETECT (ISO), that works with UNIVPM on monitoring activities (B3 and C1), has shared with the other partners the techniques used to monitor the bioremediation process. ISO is optimising analytical techniques to provide results on the sampling coming from the ‘Bactraps’ installed in the Bagnoli sediments for a period of about 3 months, removed on 25 January 2023.
The results of the experiments conducted by the various partners (IDRA, EKO, ISO, UNIVPM) confirmed the effectiveness of IDRABEL technology (BIO-VASE) in the bioremediation of contaminated sediments. Preliminary results coming from laboratory tests also demonstrated the effectiveness of the EKOGRID technology in supporting BIO-VASE in the contaminant degradation process.
Communication, Dissemination and Replication
NISIDA is responsible for providing dissemination, communication, exploitation and replication services to maximise the dissemination and awareness of the project results by potential stakeholders and the general public, with the objective to replicate the activities in other contaminated sites. NISIDA provided the partners with a report of the communication activities, presenting the results achieved so far through social channels (Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin) and through the first press release and visits to the project website.
NISIDA also described the strategy for the development of a stakeholder mapping. The mapping will be divided into the 3 marine regions of interest (Baltic Sea, North Sea and Mediterranean Sea). NISIDA is also managing participation in external events such as the EU Maritime Days in Brest (France) on 24/25 May 2023, the SedNet conference in Lisbon on 6-8 September 2023, and participation in Ecomondo in Rimini on 7-10 November 2023. The activities completed by NISIDA fall under Action D1 and B4.
09/02/23 at Office of Political Intelligence in Brussels
The third day of activity started with the individual meeting between each LIFE SEDREMED partner and the monitoring officer to discuss the financial aspects of the project. Subsequently, a series of bilateral meetings were run between the partners for alignment on technical issues and the definition of the next objectives.
Round table of experts
The third day was concluded with the expert roundtable on “Technological and policy solutions for the management of contaminated sediments in the EU. The event saw interventions from the European Commission (DG ENV), the Permanent Representations of Italy and Finland, the Italian Ministry of Environment and Energy Security, as well as contributions from other European public and private stakeholders. More information on the outcome of this meeting will be published in an editorial dedicated to the event.