CS #5: Removal of PFAS from dredged sediments for material recycling, Ancona

Our aim: demonstrating the effectiveness of proposed technologies to recover safe resources from waste
Photo credit: Google Maps

Confined disposal facility for dredged sediments in the Port of Ancona @Google Maps

In line with a Circular Economy, materials can be recovered from dredged sediments which can then be reused in the construction of roads, for example. The premise for this is that the sediments are not contaminated with pollutants such as PFAS. However, knowledge about the fate of PFAS during sediment treatment, the distribution in the treatment products and the treatment options for fractions heavily contaminated with PFAS is currently limited.

Within the concurrent project ECOSEDRA (funded by Regione Marche), a prototype sediment treatment plant fed with 30-50 kg/h of dredged sludge from the Ancona Sea ports will be implemented. From this sediements, it will produce construction materials which are reused in road embankments. PROMISCES will assess the pathways of PFAS spreading during the treatment of sediments.

Concretely, the mass flow of PFAS during the pre-treatment and washing of dredged sediment will be determined. PFAS substances in the most contaminated fractions (solid and liquid) will be removed or immobilised by advanced technologies (e.g., hydrodynamic cavitation, pyrolysis, immobilisation/stabilisation), providing safe material recovery. Leaching and toxicity tests will reveal remaining risks of immobilised PFAS in the recovered materials.

We expect that the results will help to ensure a safe recycling of sediment materials and a near zero pollution discharge.

What we have done so far...


So far, we have designed the pilot-plant. The installation in site is planned for December 2022.

In addition, washing treatments of ECOSEDRA were reproduced at laboratory scale, and treated and untreated sediments have been analysed for PFAS detection. Our aim is to understand the fate and distribution of PFAS in different sediment fractions after treatment and washing.

Photo credit: Google Maps

Data elaboration of the PFAS analysis @ACEA