As part of REMEDIATE, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN), we are aiming to deliver an integrated risk assessment framework for complex chemical mixtures at contaminated sites that is supported by a comprehensive chemical analytical assessment.

  • DatesJanuary 2015 – December 2018 (four years).
  • SponsorEuropean Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.
  • Funded€3.7 million in total for the REMEDIATE project.
  • PartnersThere are nine other academic partners in REMEDIATE (Queen’s University Belfast; Dublin City University; University of Duisburg-Essen; IWW Rheinisch-Westfalisches Institut fur Wassterforschung Gemeinnutzige GmbH; TU Dortmund University; SUPREN GmbH; University of Copenhagen; University of Turin; and TE Laboratories Ltd); together with 10 partner organisations (Wessling GmbH in Germany; University of Toronto Scarborough in Canada; Geological Survey of Northern Ireland; British Geological Survey; Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS); Stevens Institute of Technology in the USA; Whiteford Geoservices Ltd in the UK; Horizon srl in Italy; Network for Industrially Contaminated Land in Europe (NICOLE) in the Netherlands; and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in Northern Ireland.

Environmental contamination comprises a complex mixture of both organic and inorganic contaminants. Understanding their distribution, behaviour and chemical interactions provides the evidence necessary to make informed decision and implement robust remediation strategies. However, most of the current risk assessment frameworks used to manage land contamination are based on total contaminant concentrations, and the exposure assessments embedded within them do not explicitly address the partitioning and bioavailability of chemical mixtures. This inability may lead to an overestimation of health and environmental effects as both the eco-toxicological effects of the fractions and their mobility in air and water are overestimated.

Sabrina Cipullo, a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher in Environmental Science, is conducting research work which will guide new remediation strategies by investigating the areas of environmental fate and behaviour modelling, chemical and risk analysis.

Remediate model
Part of the miniature model built by Sabrina Cipullo

Progress update

Sabrina’s experimental work is based on toxico-chemical analysis to describe the interaction of poorly biodegradable contaminants with particulate matter and their impact on receptors; results should soon be available (as of November 2016). As a part of her research, Sabrina is undertaking an industrial placement with British Geological Survey (BGS) in Nottingham in the UK, collaborating in a remediation case study to be mentored by world-class experts in the contaminated land sector.

She supports and represents Cranfield in a variety of ways – as a committee member of Cranfield Environmental Analytical Facility, and student representative and organiser of the SWEE Research Student Forum. She also helped organise the Impact research showcase on campus in May 2016, Cranfield’s Festival of Flight and Exploratorium in September 2016, and will help in organising another conference on campus in February-March 2017.

Sabrina is a committee member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (East Anglia Region of the Analytical Division) and a volunteer of the RSC benevolent fund, as well as an active member of the Society of Brownfield Risk Assessment (SoBRA), RemSoc, and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).

She presented her work in August 2016 at the ISEH 2016, ISEG 2016 & Geoinformatics 2016 Joint International Conference on Environment in Galway, Ireland; and also took part in two outreach events (Science Uncovered and the Contamination Expo Series) in September / October 2016 to help people better understand contaminated land and its impact.

Sabrina became a scientific journalist in 2015 for a leading digital media outlet (labiotech.eu, which has more than 35,000 monthly readers) covering the European biotech industry; and is set to have an article published in the December 2016 edition of CIWEM’s The Environment Magazine.


Further information

Follow updates on the official project blog.