Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta
Science & Technology, Physical Sciences, Geochemistry & Geophysics, 0402 Geochemistry, 0403 Geology, 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
Contaminated (in)organic sludge, coming from river bed sediments or from industrial production processes, is causing a major threat to humans and ecology worldwide. This is not only related to toxic compounds, but also to the large amounts of sludge that is disposed in landfills. Ex situ techniques are commonly practiced to obtain a better dewatering and consolidation of the sludge as pretreatment for disposal in new landfills. Reduction of the water concentration in the sludge would increase the geostability, decrease the leaching of toxic compounds, and reduce the sludge volume in the landfill. This leads to an increased disposal capacity, which is of high economic importance, especially for dredging sludge and mine tailings. In the in situ sludge consolidation project, techniques will be studied and developed for the in situ consolidation and stabilization of inorganic sludge, both in landfills as directly in contaminated sediments. The in situ sludge consolidation project is executed by a consortium that consists of four research centers (the Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Catholic University of Leuven, University of Ghent, and the Catholic University College of Ostend-Bruges), eight companies (MWH, ENVISAN, Rasenberg Milieu, DEME Environmental Contractors, Ghent Dredging, WVRB, Nyrstar and Tessenderlo Chemie) and two public organizations (Port of Antwerp and the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services). This paper describes the objectives and specific research goals of the in situ sludge consolidation project.