Europe invests in research to remove substances of concern from the environment

Published: 17 November 2021

Zero pollution! The European Commission wants a circular economy where pollutants are kept out of the environment. Twelve million euros are currently being invested in research that contributes to the European Green Deal ambition.

Five Dutch parties are involved in this PROMISCES project, including RIVM and the Delfland water authority. A total of 27 European research parties from eight countries are working together on a range of solutions for three and a half years.

Substances of concern

The aim is to establish a picture of the sources of these substances of concern, which routes they take, and where they eventually end up, in order to develop targeted and innovative solutions to remove them.

From 1 November onwards, the research partners will be developing technologies to remove contamination from the soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater, or to prevent its release earlier. This contamination is worrying and it could have long-term effects on human health. The pollutants include persistent, mobile and potentially toxic PM(T) substances such as PFAS and other industrial chemicals.

„PROMISCES will provide concepts for zero-pollution circularity applied to waters, soils and sediments across the private and public sectors.” says Dr. Philippe Negrel, PROMISCES Coordinator and Deputy Director of the Water, Environment, Process Development and Analysis Division (BRGM, French Geological Survey).

Representative case studies in Europe

To explore those concepts, the project will focus on seven representative case studies in European regions where there are problems with chemical pollution. The selected regions are in Spain, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Germany and the Danube basin between Vienna and Budapest. Key technologies and innovations will soon be tested there to monitor, prevent and remediate persistent and mobile industrial pollutants.

Hans Groot, groundwater and soil quality expert: “In any case, these innovations developed by PROMISCES will make an important contribution to achieving the ambitious objectives of the European Green Deal for a safer and more sustainable environment.”