Document Type


Publication Date



remediation, adsorption, heavy metal, sediment, waste-turned-sorbent, in-situ


Aquatic sediments contaminated with heavy metals originating from mining and metallurgical activities of aquatic sediments poses significant risk to the environment and human health due to the fact that these sediments not only act as a sink for heavy metals, but can also constitute a secondary source of heavy metal contamination. A variety of sorbent materials has demonstrated the potential to immobilize heavy metals. However, the complexity of multi-element contamination makes choosing the appropriate sorbent mixture and application dosage highly challenging. In this paper, a strategic framework is designed to systematically address the development of an in-situ sediment remediation solution through Assessment, Feasibility and Performance studies. The decision making tools and the experimental procedures needed to identify the optimum sorbent mixtures are detailed. Particular emphasis is given to the utilization and combination of commercially available, and waste-derived sorbents to enhance the sustainability of the solution. A specific case study for a contaminated sediment site in Northern Belgium with high levels of As, Cd, Pb and Zn originating from metallurgical activities is presented. The proposed framework is utilized to achieve the required remediation targets and to meet the imposed regulations on material application in natural environments.


5 August 2016: At the time of publication, Sheridan College author Rafael M. Santos was associated with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.


Faculty of Applied Science & Technology


School of Chemical and Environmental Sciences


Journal of Environmental Management



Peer Reviewed/Refereed Publication


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

Chiang, Y. W., Santos, R. M., Ghyselbrecht, K., Cappuyns, V., Martens, J. A., Swennen, R., Van Gerven, T., Meesschaert, B. (2012). Strategic selection of an optimal sorbent mixture for in-situ remediation of heavy metal contaminated sediments: Framework and case study. Journal of Environmental Management, 105, 1-11. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.03.037