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Sediments : Charaterization, treatment and valorization

European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering

type de publication      ouvrage scientifique (ou chapitre)
nom du livre European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering
date de publication 01-02-2011
auteur(s) Lafhaj Zoubeir
volume (numéro) 15 (2)
éditeur Hermes Lavoisier
pages 1 – 302
ISBN / ISSN 978-2-7462-3263-1
résumé Many serious problems of pollution are linked to civil engineering and concern soil, water and air. Some of them date back to several years ago (soil contamination, water table pollution, industrial waste…) and are sometimes caused by accidents (contamination by a polluting substance, etc.). Without neglecting the exorbitant costs, which may result from these problems, the consequences may be disastrous, causing both health and environmental crises. Amongst the problems that have long affected several countries, the silting up of ports, river and estuaries, by sediments and sludge, is worth mentioning. Currently, hundreds of millions of m3 of sludge and sediments are dredged each year in Europe. This large volume represents both an economic and an ecological problem. Firstly, this silting effect slows down the development of river and port activities: the dredging of ports, river and estuaries is a necessity to aid navigation and is regularly carried out. On the other hand, the sediments pollute the rivers and marine environment with a seriously negative effect on biomass. These polluted sediments contain both organic (e.g. hydrocarbons, PAH, BCP...) and inorganic (e.g. heavy metals: Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Pb, Nitrates, Phosphates, Salts, etc.) contaminants. The pollution of these sediments is linked to the industrial history of the region. Heavy metals can be retained by soils and can also be mobilised in soil solution by biological and chemical mechanisms causing serious damage not only on human’s health but also on the flora and fauna. Currently, many treatment processes exist but the economic cost is not very competitive (large volumes and heavy pollution). Moreover, the owners and managers of polluted sediments do not want to take any legal action or risk additional ecotoxicological problems until the legal status of sediments in Europe is not clearly defined or delimited. The lack of reference values for the main pollutants depending on the original medium and its becoming hinders the classification of these polluted sediments and the study of the effectiveness of the treatment processes. Until recent years, storage, and immersion were the only ways to dispose of these polluted sediments. However, the solutions proposed are not accepted by the public (NIMBY), because they do not solve the problem but only displace it in time or in space. Indeed, the action consists, firstly, in preventing the consequences of polluted sediment toxicity (waste) and secondly in reducing its production in the source. We are faced with a problem of industrial ecology that should be considered in its globality, taking into account the sediment when their production, extraction, characterisation and recovery.
mots clés Sediments; Charaterization; Treatment; Valorization;
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