Galson Sciences Ltd - Contaminant chemistry and transport
Under research programmes cofunded by the European Commission (EC) and a wide range of other clients internationally, GSL staff have been at the forefront of the development of coupled models and computer codes to simulate contaminant transport. GSL staff have led major initiatives in the modelling of organic complexation, sorption, colloid transport, and cement degradation. Example projects include the following:
- GSL has developed the POPCORN model for evaluating the effects of POPulations of COlloids on RadioNuclide transport. The model was developed as part of the EC-funded Trancom-II project to analyse organic matter (OM)-facilitated radionuclide migration in the Boom Clay (the reference site for studying the disposal of radioactive waste in Belgium). Further modelling work is currently being undertaken on behalf of ONDRAF/NIRAS in Belgium. The POPCORN model involves the solution of three equations describing the behaviour of radionuclides in solution, radionuclides complexed with mobile OM, and radionuclides complexed with immobile OM in a porous medium.
- GSL has also supported SKI in Sweden on the development and application of the COLLAGE II radionuclide migration model. COLLAGE II is a similar model to POPCORN, except that it calculates radionuclide migration in aqueous and colloidal phases through fractured rock rather than a porous medium. The model assumes that dissolved radionuclides may be transported in groundwater along a fracture, may diffuse through and sorb to the rock matrix, and may sorb to colloidal material within the fracture. Colloids may be suspended and transported with the groundwater or may become attached to the fracture walls, but are assumed to be too large to enter the pore space of the rock matrix.
- GSL is supporting a four-year programme in Japan that aims to develop a micro-probe capable of measuring in situ distribution coefficients and water chemistry in boreholes. GSL's role has been to support the interpretation of the results from the micro-probe and to understand the performance assessment significance of micro-probe application. This work has included analysis and review of alternative methods for analysing probe responses, including interpretation using thermodynamic models.
- GSL coordinated, and had a lead technical role in, the study of heavy metal pollution and contaminant migration in soil and groundwater at sites in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East (LIMPIT). (Click here for more details on this project.)