Water and environmental analysis services

IFE has the instrumentation and know-how to contribute to studies on the human impact on the environment, particularly in understanding the behavior of water-soluble pollution in the landscape surrounding industrial sites. Due to its ubiquitous nature and critical role in sustaining life, understanding water and the effects of water-soluble pollution is important in understanding and evaluating the risk and impact of human activities.

Pollution intrusion and isotope mapping in polluted ground

Studying stable isotopes of inorganic carbon, hydrogen, oxygen or other “non-traditional” isotope systems (iron, nickel, chlorine, boron, etc.) in water can provide clues about the different flow pathways of the ground and surface water through landfills and other storage sites. This information may be very valuable in deciding how to plan sampling campaigns for further analysis and to map background levels of a site before restoring the area to its natural state. IFE can analyze stable isotopes of inorganic carbon and dissolved elements in water, as well as oxygen and hydrogen isotopes of the water itself, and assist in determination of water flow paths and the contribution of meteorological water on groundwater flow.

Gas seeps and volatile organic carbon at landfills

A landfill is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial. It is the oldest form of waste treatment. Historically, landfills have been the most common method of organized waste disposal and remain so in many places around the world. Poor control over water and gas flow within a landfill can lead to landfill gas and dissolved pollutants finding their way to nearby inhabited areas, with sometimes severe health consequences. The Institute for Energy Technology has the capability to analyze gas seeps at the surface to reveal if the landfill cover material is leaking methane or harmful volatile organic compounds into the environment. It is also possible to determine the oxidation efficiency of topsoil and other oxidative layers.  We can use stable isotopes to reveal information of the subsurface chemistry at the site and to track seasonal variations.

Heavy metal leaching from mining waste

Disposal of waste requires a good understanding of the amount and type of contaminants in the waste and the mechanisms for release of contaminants into the environment. In addition, understanding the local geological, hydrogeological and geochemical conditions is vital in order to understand the impact of landfilled waste on the environment. IFE can assist with characterization of all the heavy metal elements, including radioactive elements of special interest for regulatory authorities. In addition, we are able to assist in evaluating the hydrogeochemical status of landfill sites.