Research into water and soil remediation with microbial methods and in situ remediation methods.
It may be necessary to treat water and soil due to contamination. GEUS develops water treatment and soil remediation methods.
GEUS’ activities in brief
Nationally, GEUS is a leading player in the development of biological treatment processes for cleaning groundwater and sea water. GEUS' vision for research in this field is to develop microbial processes for a cleaner aquatic environment.
Cleaning groundwater of xenobiotics
For a number of years, GEUS has conducted research into the use of microbial processes to treat contaminated water and soil. GEUS has grown a collection of bacterial cultures that can break down xenobiotics, including pesticides and oil substances. GEUS is researching how these bacteria can be biotechnologically exploited by e.g. adding them to soil or biological filtres.
Some drinking water wells have been polluted with pesticide residues and many resources have been invested in ensuring that the threshold value of 0.1µm/l for pesticides in drinking water is not exceeded. GEUS is carrying out research on how pesticide-degrading bacteria can be used at waterworks to remove pesticides from groundwater.
Removal of inorganic nutrients and metals in water treatment
Danish drinking water supply is based almost entirely on groundwater extraction. However, the groundwater contains a number of inorganic compounds which need to be removed from the water before it is used as drinking water. GEUS is carrying out research into the microbiological degradation of inorganic compounds in the sand filtres at waterworks, including ammonium, iron, and manganese. GEUS is examining whether the processes can be optimised by adding certain bacteria.
Degradation of oil in the marine environment
The conditions for finding oil have been assessed to be particularly good in the waters around Greenland where several companies have obtained a licence to explore for oil. However, there is very little knowledge about the potential for microbial degradation of oil in the event of an oil spill. GEUS is working to develop new oil spill response technologies for use in Demark and in the Arctic region.
In situ remediation of contaminated soil
GEUS is developing methods for in situ remediation of contaminated soil. The work includes the development of methods to increase the flow capabilities of the soil and, thus, enhance the possibility for removing contaminants.