Research GrantUoG NAPL

SoBRA awarded a research grant to the University of Greenwich under its 2022 funding window.  The grant was awarded in May 2022 to Dr. Cecilia Macleod (University of Greenwich) and Dr. David Holmes (Geosyntec), to systematically assess dissolved hydrocarbon concentrations as a function of hydrogeological and well construction parameters.  The work is being carried out at the University of Greenwich and will aim to provide some robust scientific evidence to validate the use of ‘rules of thumb’ in contaminated land site investigation and risk assessment for the presence of non-aqueous phase liquids.  The project is linked to the work being undertaken by our NAPL sub-group and aims to investigate the so-called “1% rule”.   
This rule of thumb is an assumption regarding the solubility of hydrocarbons in groundwater.  If the measured concentration of a hydrocarbon is greater than 1% of the solubility, it is assumed that the contaminant is present in free phase as an LNAPL or DNAPL.  The work is intended to inform contaminated land risk assessment and conceptual site models about “hidden” NAPL and source stability.  The test design allows the impacts of climate change on dissolved phase hydrocarbons to be measured, as well as an assessment of other contaminant types.

BursaryStephen Forster

As BSi’s nominated UK representative on CEN’s Technical Committee 351, Working Group 5, Technical Group 51, which was tasked with developing a Technical Specification for the identification and quantification of asbestos in Construction Products, Stephen was required to attend the last in-person meeting of the TC on 26/4/23 in Houten, the Netherlands.  Stephen was able to attend the meeting with the assistance of a SoBRA bursary, awarded in April 2023, for which he was grateful, as there was a significant benefit of attending in person.  This will now better enable Stephen to take this initiative forward into the UK’s brownfield community as a means by which a unified approach can be taken for the assessment of potential contamination of recycled aggregate by asbestos.  This work would be complementary to ongoing efforts to revise and reissue the ‘asbestos in soil Blue Book method’, along with an accompanying Client Guide, which is being led by EIC/CL:AIRE’

BursaryGemma Shaw

SoBRA awarded a bursary to Gemma Shaw, a PhD researcher at Cranfield University and British Geological Survey, in July 2023, to present a poster at the AquaConSoil Conference.  AquaConSoil (previously called ConSoil) is a conference focused on the topics of contaminated soil, water, and land. Gemma’s research is heavily focused on brownfield risk assessment, her PhD is entitled ‘Contaminants in saprolite: an overlooked hotspot of environmental concern?’  Saprolite is a transitional zone of highly weathered rock between soil and unweathered bedrock and contaminants may enter saprolite from overlying contaminated soils, agricultural spreading, waste burial, contaminated surface water, or other pathways and sources.  The project aims to achieve a better understanding of how they behave in the weathered profile so that their transport and fate can be accurately predicted, to inform risk assessments, remediation strategies, and approaches to the management of emerging contaminants in the environment.