Caring about the future

CESAM celebrates the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought highlighting the project LIFE No_Waste

CESAM celebrates the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought highlighting the project LIFE No_Waste

In the South of Portugal there are areas highly vulnerable to soil erosion, drought, and desertification. In the specific case of the mining areas in the Iberian Pyrite Belt, this is aggravated by soil pollution resulting from the past mining activity and acid drainage, with losses of soil functionality between 50 and 100%.

The LIFE No_Waste project aims to prepare new soil additives based on ash from the combustion of residual forest biomass and organic waste (biological sludge and / or organic compost) and to demonstrate their effectiveness in recovering the functionality of degraded soil in Portugal, in a context of circular economy. These new materials will allow to recover the chemical and ecological quality and promote the growth of vegetation in soils severely affected by extreme pollution with heavy metals, salinity and low pH.

Since May 2018, a LIFE No_Waste pilot project for in situ application of the new additives is ongoing at the São Domingos Mine (Mértola). This work is coordinated by CESAM – Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies and is being developed by a highly multidisciplinary team with experience in the areas of waste management, environmental engineering, geochemistry, environmental chemistry, biochemistry, botany, ecology, and ecotoxicology. The pilot project will allow the optimization of operational conditions, providing technical guidelines for the subsequent application of these materials in other degraded areas of Southwest Europe.

The team of the project

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