Two research teams, one from CRA-W and the other from the University of Liège, have joined forces to develop plant engineering for phytoremediation (IVEREM) and provide sustainable solutions to soil pollution.
Following on from their joint work as part of an Interreg IV-A ‘Greater Region’ project targeting the use of woody riverbank ecotypes to maintain or improve the quality of surface water, CRA-W and Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (ULG) decided to continue working together in the form of a scientific and technical partnership specifically focusing on phytoremediation activities.
The partners will therefore engage in studies of environmentally critical situations where in situ remediation techniques can provide sustainable solutions. The work will be specifically concerned with designing and managing the reinstatement of contaminated sites and plant breeding and propagation, preferably woody plants which not only produce biomass but also are biologically active with respect to soil pollutants. A mixed team will bring together the multidisciplinary expertise needed for the issues to be tackled. In the early years they hope to respond favourably to public or private expectations with regard to phytoremediation in the wider sense, starting with the restoration of land marginalised by industrial activity. The areas of expertise will obviously diversify thereafter, according to the scientific and technical progress resulting from joint activities.