73575 - Tecnologies for Soil Reclamation

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Clean water and sanitation Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

Students will acquire technical and legal tools to undertake the remediation of polluted sites. In particular, they will acquire the fundamentals of the interaction contaminant-soil-groundwater and the capacity to evaluate the efficacy of remedial technologies. They will acquire the capacity to select and design them as regards vadose soil and aquifers. They will acquire the fundamentals of Risk Analysis for polluted sites. They will know the administrative process in pursuance of Italian law.

Course contents

Requirements/Prior knowledge

A prior basic knowledge of chemistry and material balances is required to attend with profit this course.

Fluent spoken and written Italian is a necessary pre-r inequisite: all lectures will be in Italian. Part of the study material is English therefore, a good understanding of written English is also a necessary pre-requisite.

Course Contents

Introduction to the pollution of sites (typology of polluted sites, mechanisms of pollutants propagation in the environment).

Components of soil. Origin and properties of the main pollutants (hydrocarbons, metals, CAH, PAH, BTEX, PCB, Dioxins, Pesticides, ...). Interaction of soil-pollutants and distribution of contaminants in solid, liquid, gaseous and non aqueous liquid phase; determination of the presence of NAPL and composition at the equilibrium (for one and more components). Mass transfer phenomena in soil, determination of mass transfer coefficients.

Basic principle of hydrogeology (in one, two and three phase systems), contaminants transport in saturated and vadose soil, simplified analytical solutions.

Methods of site assessment and data evaluation.

Description of the basic principles, applicability, limitations, design methods and costs of the main in situ and on-site remedial technologies for soils and groundwater: Pump & Treat; Pump-Treat & Reinjection; Reductive Remedial Processes (HRC); Venting and Bioventing; Biopile; Landfarming; Soil Washing; Air Sparging, Biosparging and Cometabolic Air Sparging; Permeable Reactive Barriers, In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO); Oxygen Releasing Compounds (ORC); Natural Attenuation; Electrokinetic Remediation; Physical Barriers, NAPL Recovery (skimmer, drawdown, bioslurping).

Risk Assessment of polluted sites (identification of the source of the contamination, evaluation of representative concentrations, identification of exposure pathway, critical review of the transport models, identification of the receptors, assessment of exposure parameters, calculation of the risk and the cleanup targets).


1) Handout

2) Bonifica di siti contaminati, Caratterizzazione e tecnologie di risanamento, A cura di L. Bonomo, McGraw-Hill, 2005.

3) Contaminant Hydrogeology, C. W. Fetter, second edition, Prentice Hall, NJ, 1993.

Useful links:

> Clean-up Information (CLU-IN) web site CLU-IN homepage [http://www.clu-in.org/] http://www.clu-in.org/

> REACHIT : REmediation And CHaracterisation Innovative Technologies http://www.epareachit.org/index3.html

> EPA : http://www.epa.gov/

> ISPRA (ex-APAT) :http://www.apat.gov.it/site/it-it/apat/

> NICOLE : http://www.nicole.org/

Teaching methods

Lessons and in class exercises.

On selected topics, some exercises will be proposed as homework and the solution will be illustrated in the next lessons.

Assessment methods

Achievements will be assessed by the means of a final oral exam.This is based on an analytical assessment of the "expected learning outcomes" described above.

The oral exam, consists of a technical conversation where students are required to demonstrate their knowledge on the partition and transport of contaminants in soil and groundwater, the knowledge of the law, the knowledge of basic aspects of the risk analisys for polluted sites and its main critical points, the capacity to select, critically describe and dimensioning of the remediation technologies presented in the course.

To obtain a passing grade, students are required to at least demonstrate a knowledge of the key concepts of the subject, some ability for critical application, and a comprehensible use of technical language.

Higher grades will be awarded to students who demonstrate an organic understanding of the subject, a high ability for critical application, and a clear and concise presentation of the contents.

A failing grade will be awarded if the student shows knowledge gaps in key-concepts of the subject, inappropriate use of language, and/or logic failures in the analysis of the subject.

Teaching tools

Power point presentations. Copy of the slides.

Office hours

See the website of Massimo Nocentini