The rapid development and urbanisation of the Swan Coastal Plain in WA, the shortage of raw materials for construction and fill, and the poor quality of sandy soils are issues of significant environmental, economic and social importance to the State Government. The use of by-products to address these issues has potential benefits of reducing environmental degradation, assisting with sustainable land use practices, and addressing surface and ground water issues.
Funding from the Minerals Research Institute of WA (MRIWA) and industry participants will allow ChemCentre to use specific tools to assess waste-derived materials and by-products from a range of industrial processes.
The Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) is a collection of data management tools, leaching tests and assessments developed to identify detailed behaviours of a wide range of waste-derived materials, including by-products from water treatment residues, red mud and gypsum. The results can then be applied and used to compare scenarios representing a range of plausible applications of the test materials.
ChemCentre’s Manager Project Development, Dr Silvia Black, will lead the project, and is liaising closely with the chief developers of the LEAF tests, Dr Hans van der Sloot and Dr Andre van Zomeren from the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN). Dr Black will visit the LEAF facilities at ECN while participating in ISO meetings in Europe next month.
“We hope to invite Dr van der Sloot and Dr van Zomeren to Perth to conduct workshops early next year, which would be invaluable for regulators, industry and the LEAF team here at ChemCentre,” said Dr Black.
“ChemCentre has set up the LEAF team to provide a full LEAF service of testing, data interpretation and modelling, filed studies, and consultancy to both industry and government agencies.”
The two year project has total cash funding of $350k, and has the involvement and support from WA agencies Department of Environment Regulation (DER), Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), and Department of Water.