Research projects

List of projects

  • Modelling a control mechanism based on emissions of volatile organic compounds in (bio)remediation projects.  > Further reading

  • Pilot test for controlling emissions during remediation of volatile organic compounds from contaminated soils using a new multi-array VOC-O2-CO2 sensor. > Further reading

  • Development and validation of a fully coupled catchment model for chemical substances. > Further reading

  • AQUAREHAB - Development of innovative rehabilitation technologies for multipressured degraded waters and their integration in river basin management (VITO). > Further reading

  • Groundwater remediation using permeable reactive barriers (VITO). > Further reading

  • Improvement of groundwater protection in Bulgaria using advanced environmental impact assessment (EIA) tools (VITO). > Further reading


Project info

Modelling a control mechanism based on emissions of volatile organic compounds in (bio)remediation projects.  (PhD Jo Bonroy).

The PhD research aims at developing a new gas sensor device for soil remediation. For this innovative monitoring technique, so-called multi-array sensors were developed. The monitoring can be used in conjunction with models for gas transport of volatile chemicals in soils, to design soil remediation projects such as (bio)venting or in-situ bioremediation.
Timeframe: 1 Oct 2004- 30 Sep 2011
Promoter(s): Piet Seuntjens
Funding: UGent
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Pilot test for controlling emissions during remediation of volatile organic compounds from contaminated soils using a new multi-array VOC-O2-CO2 sensor.

Vluchtige organische verbindingen (VOC) vormen één van de meest voorkomende gevallen van bodemverontreiniging in geïndustrialiseerde landen. Bij bodemsaneringsprojecten is een nauwkeurige opvolging van VOC in de bodem nodig. Doelstelling van het project is om een VOC-sensor en bijhorende software te ontwikkelen en te demonstreren voor gebruik in bodems. 
Timeframe: 1 May 2009 - 30 April 2010
Promoter(s): Marc Van Meirvenne, Herbert De Smet, Piet Seuntjens
Funding: StarTT (Technology Transfer)
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Development and validation of a fully coupled catchment model for chemical substances

Effective management of watersheds and ecosystems requires a comprehensive knowledge of surface and subsurface water and contaminant movement, and impacts of point-source and non-point source pollution on water quality. Simulation models are being used increasingly to provide predictive capability in support of environmental and water resource assessment and restoration projects. Fully-coupled surface-subsurface models allow overcoming the restrictive assumptions pertaining to spatial variability, dimensionality and interaction of various components inherent to classical simulation models. This project aims at better understanding the behavior of chemicals in coupled soil, and ground and surface water systems.

Timeframe: 1 Nov 2008 - 30 Sep 2010
Promoter(s): Piet Seuntjens, Wim Cornelis
Postdoc Fellow: Xiangyu Tang (VITO)
Funding: VITO
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AQUAREHAB (FP7 IP) - Development of innovative rehabilitation technologies for multipressured degraded waters and their integration in river basin management (VITO).

AQUAREHAB is a EU financed large scale research project (FP7) that is being coordinated by VITO involving a consortium of 19 partners. The project started 1st May 2009 and will last 56 months until 2013.
The project will develop innovative rehabilitation technologies for soil, groundwater and surface water to cope with a number of different priority contaminants (nitrates, pesticides, chlorinated compounds, aromatic compounds, mixed pollutions…) within heavily degraded water systems. Methods will be developed to determine the (long-term) impact of the innovative rehabilitation technologies to reduce pollution to river and groundwater receptors.
The project will promote the uptake of successful technologies for use in river basin management measures. One of the major outcomes of the project will be a generic river basin management tool that assesses the ecological and economical impact of rehabilitation technologies on the water system at both local and regional scales.
Timeframe: 2009 - 2013
Promoter(s): Piet Seuntjens, Leen Bastiaens (VITO)
Partners: 19 partners, VITO is coordinator
Funding: 7th Framework Programme DG RES EU
Website: http://aquarehab.vito.be/home/Pages/default.aspx
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Groundwater remediation using permeable reactive barriers (VITO).

In this project, we are working on the development of a reactive transport modelling tool that accounts for the complex biogeochemical reactions in PRB and NA systems. The model will be tested on an existing monitored contaminated site in Belgium. This will allow us to (i) interpret laboratory and field data from the field site, (ii) investigate which physical conditions and processes limit application of PRB and NA systems, and (iii) predict and compare long-term performance of PRB and NA remediation strategies at the site.
Timeframe: 2007 - 2009
Promoter(s): Piet Seuntjens, Leen Bastiaens (VITO)
Postdoc fellow: Dr. G. Schoups (now at Technical University Delft)
Funding: IWT and Marie Curie IRC
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Improvement of groundwater protection in Bulgaria using advanced environmental impact assessment (EIA) tools (VITO).

The project intends to transfer advanced technological knowledge on environmental impact assessment and remediation of polluted groundwater. The project focuses in detail on the problem of existing and new waste dumps in Bulgaria, i.e., a former uranium mining site. An in-situ permeable reactive barrier is installed as part of the multi-barrier containment system. The barrier was designed on the basis of unique expertise developed at VITO.
Timeframe: 2005 - 2008
Promoter(s): Piet Seuntjens, Leen Bastiaens (VITO), Dirk Mallants (SCK-CEN)
Partners: University of Mining and Geology (UMG, Prof. S. Groudev), Geological Institute Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (GI-BAS, Prof. D. Karastanev)
Funding: Flemish Ministery of Foreign Affairs
Website: http://eia-bulgaria.sckcen.be
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