Research Centre: Advanced Remedial Technologies

Grounds for the Centre foundation

Substantial finances are devoted in the Czech Republic on the elimination of groundwater and soil and rock-environment contamination by industrial and mining activities, as well as on the protection of drinking-water aquifers (strategic resource of the 21st century). Effectiveness of the cleaning and protective measures depends on the availability of technologies, which are flexible enough for changing spatial and concentration distribution of contamination. Modern trends in water resource protection focus on lowering the limits of harmful substances, and the same principle is applied in remediation of existing contamination. In reaction to these requirements, the new technologies must provide effective (technically, economically, ecologically) elimination of groundwater, soil and rock-environment contamination and aquifer protection. The basic condition is the full and effective function of the measures with varying concentrations of the individual critical contaminants. Contemporary trends in this area therefore apply natural geochemical and biological processes with the intention of recognizing the paths leading to gradual contaminant degradation and subsequently their optimisation for reaching the target levels of groundwater quality.

The aim of the proposed Centre is research focused on advanced methods of geochemical and geophysical data retrievement as a basis for modelling the application processes and technologies in reaction to the more strict requirements on groundwater quality (with special emphasis on immobilization technologies and in-situ remediation, combined with the classical technologies when needed). Another aim is research and realization of engineering systems for complex environmental assessment of industrial activities and verification of suggested measures. The scientific programme of the Centre will be oriented to the research into computer modelling methods of studied processes, as modelling of the ecological systems is an available and effective method for managing remediation processes in the areas subject to industrial pollution or chemical accidents. An integral part of the Centre activities is the development of risk assessment methodologies for the inhabitants, reliability and risk assessment for potentially hazardous technologies and risk analysis.

The Centre proposal is in accordance with the plan of human resources development of the Liberec region. The location of the Centre research groups will make use of the International University and Innovation Centre to be built in Jindřichovice pod Smrkem between 2005-2006. During the period of the project a special department for solution of ecological liability in Česká Lípa region is supposed to be established in Česká Lípa. Establishing the Centre will further spread TUL's activities in the region and support collaboration in the Euroregion Nisae with German and Polish universities.

Three institutions bringing significant capacity (TUL, AQUATEST, and CGS) initiated the establishing of the Centre and called other co-operating institutions to offer their experts to expand proficiency of some departments of the Centre.