Ph.D. Title Acid mine drainage: water/soil transfer
Acid mine drainage (AMD): water/soil transfer.
Objectives: Evaluation of AMD impact on the environment and effectiveness of current remediation processes.
Presentation of the research project (cooperative aspect)
Text in italics (slanted) is common to all ESRs and should NOT be modified. Modify the rest (in blue) according to your ESR description.
This PhD position is within the framework of a European ITN project named PANORAMAM: EuroPean trAining NetwOrk on Rare eArth elements environMental trAnsfer: from rock to human involving 15 PhD positions.
Under the supervision of Dr. Maria Isabel Prudêncio, Dr. João Carlos Waerenborgh and Dr. Rosa Marques, the PhD student will (i) perform the geochemical and mineralogical characterization of soils, sediments, acid water ponds and stream flows of the selected AMD systems; (ii) evaluate the seasonal behaviour (2 sampling campaigns per site) of REE in the water along the treatment systems; (iii) establish the natural background and evaluate the contribution of the main mining focus (AMD and mine wastes) to the behaviour of REE in the fluvial system; (iv) promote a better understanding of the mechanisms of preferential REE fixation in the different subsystems of the AMD environment and of the complexity of hydrogeochemical processes controlling the REE distribution that occur in the course of passive treatment systems constructed to remediate AMD; and (v) establish strategies to prevent contamination through the real assessment of REE contents modifications in the several compartments of the environment.
The project involves a strong collaboration with: Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro, Portugal, for field work and sampling (2×1 month, Dr. Catarina Diamantino); University of Huelva, Spain, for field work and laboratory experiments (2×1 month, Prof. Manuel Olias); Université de Rennes, France, for REE analysis in aqueous systems (2 months, Dr. M. Bouhnik-LeCoz); synchrotron SOLEIL, France, for REE-ochre-precipitates characterization using spectroscopy (1 month, Dr. S. Reguer); and Belgian Nuclear Research Centre for geochemical modelling (2 months, S. Salah) including required research stays (secondments), during a total of 9 months.
The PhD student will be also involved in scientific/soft-skills meetings and in research activities conducted in other laboratories/companies from Europe and associated countries.
An important component of the training will be the participation to 3 main major training events:
WS1-(December 2020) REE as emerging contaminants: Properties, uses and dissemination –Germany-fundamental REE biogeochemistry and currently known anthropogenic REE inputs into the environment
SS1 (May 2021) – AMD and REE contamination mitigation – Portugal-Management and remediation solutions of AMD in old mining areas and Management of WEEE, recycling areas
WS2 – Colloids and nanoparticles as REE vectors -France- Structural characterization of colloids and nanoparticles by innovative and fine spectroscopic and scattering techniques: X-Ray absorption fluorescence and scattering, light scattering. REE interactions with bearing phases.
SS2 – (Eco)toxicology of REE –Germany- Eco)toxicological concepts and approaches, Physico-chemical properties of REE for bioavailability, ecotoxicity and environmental risk
In addition to these major milestones of the program, the PhD students will 1) continuously develop their core research skills via their own research project locally and within the network while at secondments and conferences, 2) receive a mandatory amount of hard and soft-skills training specific to their own doctoral school, along with mentoring by joint supervising bodies, 3) use conferences both as dissemination events for ESRs results and network events for progress reports and evaluations, and 4) collaborate into practical activities aimed at network-structuring legacy deliverables.
PANORAMA’s research objective is to elucidate the man-induced environmental dissemination of REE and the associated effects on the environmental health. For that purpose, interdisciplinary approaches are required combining geochemistry, ecotoxicology, hydrology, chemical analysis and coupling field monitoring, original in and ex situ experimental set-up and modelling from the element speciation to the environmental impact
PANORAMA’s key aim is to set-up an optimal scientific and non-scientific training to the understanding and forecasting of the environmental impacts of new emerging pollutants such as REE.