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Article

Mesocosm Experiments at a Tunnelling Construction Site for Assessing Re-Use of Spoil Material as a By-Product

1
Water Research Institute, National Research Council (CNR-IRSA), 00010 Rome, Italy
2
Institute of Polar Sciences, National Research Council (CNR-ISP), 00010 Rome, Italy
3
Institute of Research on Terrestrial Ecosystems, National Research Council (IRET-CNR), 00010 Rome, Italy
4
Institute for Biological Systems, National Research Council (ISB-CNR), 00010 Rome, Italy
5
Environmental and Health Department, Italian Institute of Health (ISS), 00161 Rome, Italy
6
Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, University of Milano Bicocca, 20126 Milano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2021, 13(2), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020161
Received: 10 November 2020 / Revised: 7 January 2021 / Accepted: 8 January 2021 / Published: 12 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Fate of Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment)
Mechanized excavation of tunnels with Earth Pressure Balance-Tunnel Boring Machines requires the use of foaming agents. The latter contain the anionic surfactant sodium lauryl ether sulphate (SLES) as the main compound. The re-use as a by-product of excavated soil containing foaming agents (spoil material) can pose a risk for soil and particularly for aquatic ecosystems if they are close to the spoil material final destination site. This work reports the chemical results (SLES residual concentrations) and ecotoxicological effects (battery of five tests) of 28 day-mesocosm studies performed at a tunnelling construction site. The soil mesocosms were set up with two different lithologies, which contained four different foaming agent products at the highest amounts used for excavation. The decrease in SLES concentrations and the ecotoxicological tests were performed in soil and its water extract (elutriate) at different times (0, 7, 14, 28 d). Elutriates were prepared in order to simulate a possible SLES leaching from soil to water. The results showed a decrease in SLES over time and different ecotoxicological responses depending not only on the initial amount of each product, but also on the soil lithology and organism tested (aquatic or terrestrial). This study showed how only site-specific ecotoxicological evaluations can ensure a safe management of the spoil material, making possible the re-use of soil and avoiding production of waste. View Full-Text
Keywords: SLES; environmental compatibility; site-specific protocol; Vibrio fischeri; Danio rerio; Eisenia fetida; Lepidium sativum; toxicity test battery integrated index SLES; environmental compatibility; site-specific protocol; Vibrio fischeri; Danio rerio; Eisenia fetida; Lepidium sativum; toxicity test battery integrated index
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MDPI and ACS Style

Barra Caracciolo, A.; Grenni, P.; Mariani, L.; Rauseo, J.; Di Lenola, M.; Muzzini, V.G.; Donati, E.; Lacchetti, I.; Gucci, P.M.B.; Finizio, A.; Beccaloni, E.; Patrolecco, L. Mesocosm Experiments at a Tunnelling Construction Site for Assessing Re-Use of Spoil Material as a By-Product. Water 2021, 13, 161. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020161

AMA Style

Barra Caracciolo A, Grenni P, Mariani L, Rauseo J, Di Lenola M, Muzzini VG, Donati E, Lacchetti I, Gucci PMB, Finizio A, Beccaloni E, Patrolecco L. Mesocosm Experiments at a Tunnelling Construction Site for Assessing Re-Use of Spoil Material as a By-Product. Water. 2021; 13(2):161. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020161

Chicago/Turabian Style

Barra Caracciolo, Anna; Grenni, Paola; Mariani, Livia; Rauseo, Jasmin; Di Lenola, Martina; Muzzini, Valerio G.; Donati, Enrica; Lacchetti, Ines; Gucci, Paola M.B.; Finizio, Antonio; Beccaloni, Eleonora; Patrolecco, Luisa. 2021. "Mesocosm Experiments at a Tunnelling Construction Site for Assessing Re-Use of Spoil Material as a By-Product" Water 13, no. 2: 161. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020161

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