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SUMATECS project context

The development of “gentle”, in-situ remediation technologies (specifically, in-situ techniques that do not significantly impact soil function or structure, such as phytoremediation, in situ immobilisation, etc., figure 1) has undergone intensive research over a number of years. A great deal of progress has been achieved at the laboratory scale, but the application of these technologies as practical solutions is still at a relatively early stage. Current limiting issues include those of site / contaminant characterisation, whereby methods for determination of trace element (metals and non-metal) fractions relevant for their ecotoxicology (i.e., the bioavailable fraction) may insufficiently reflect the potential risks. Also, a number of in-situ remediation options are available and thus a decision support system has to be developed which allows the user to make an informed decision on which is the most suitable technique(s). TECS (trace element contaminated soils) management has also moved into a new century where environmental decision-making must be ‘socially-robust’ within a context of sustainable development, and is part of the conceptual framework of “Risk-based land management”. All efforts need to ensure that management and/or remediation is affordable, feasible, effective & sustainable.


The SUMATECS project

The aim of this project is to make a literature and project-based review (including a country-specific state of the art and current procedures) to identify the current status of research and application of “gentle” remediation technologies in Europe, and to (i) derive or recommend decision support systems and remediation scenarios (which include the potential impacts on the local environment) and (ii) define further research needs and priorities for gentle remediation technologies (figure 2). The study covers soils contaminated by trace elements (TECS) (singly or in combination with organics), at brownfield and working industrial sites and their surrounding agricultural or urban areas.


Mench M.1, Puschenreiter M.2, Ruttens A.3, Kumpiene J.4, Müller I.5, Cundy A.6, Friesl-Hanl W.7, Renella G.8, Tlustos P.9, Bert V.10 Marschner B. 11

Project consortium

Release 1.2
Realised by JP Soularue, F Raspail and M Mench. UMR BIOGECO INRA 1202.