The work plan is divided into the following tasks:
Task 1- Soil selection, sampling and complete characterisation - Selection of the target soils: Cambisols, granitic residual soils, Alluvial calcareous soils, and Regosols (saline soils). Field trips for reconnaissance and sampling will follow. Samples will be prepared and stored in preservation conditions. Complete characterisation of the three selected soil types: mineralogical, microbiological, physico-chemical and geotechnical (e.g. pH, CEC, TOC, total N and P, XRF analysis, mineralogical composition, SEM-EDS analysis, respirometry, particle size analysis, porosity, bulk density, shear strength, intrinsic permeability, porous media saturation, water retention capacity). Expected duration (ED): 3 months (M);
Task 2- Assisted bioremediation tests - Selection of the contaminant(s), possibly BTEX and halogenated COVs (e.g. TCE), alone or in combination. Development and characterization of the inoculum capable to degrade the selected contaminant(s), this implies carrying out a battery biodegradation tests in liquid medium. A set of tests (minimum of six inoculated and control tests) of bioremediation in an unventilated column will be carried out for each type of soil. A set of bioventing column tests (minimum of six inoculated and control tests) will be carried out for each type of soil. Contaminant concentration in soil will be monitored daily by gas chromatography. Biomass will be quantified at the start and at the end of each bioremediation conducted test. ED: 12 M;
Task 3- Soil characterisation tests after remediation - Complete characterisation of the soils after bioremediation tests, repeating the characterisation tests performed in Task 1. ED: 6 M;
Task 4- Analysis of results, data treatment and mathematical modelling and simulation. ED: 6 months.
Cross-cutting task: Writing of thesis and at least 4 scientific papers. ED: 9 M distributed over the total time.