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Assessment of the environmental sustainability of geosynthetic clay liners


Description The so-called geosynthetic clay liners (GCL) are innovative technological solutions, which have recently been introduced into the market by the geosynthetic industry, of particular interest for the engineering applications wherein contaminated liquids have to be controlled in the subsoil, such as municipal and industrial solid waste landfills, mine tailing dams and dismissed petrochemical plants to be reclaimed. Although the issue of the behaviour of GCLs under actual site conditions has already been addressed by several research works, whereby the technical, economical and environmental advantages arising from the use of these geosynthetic products in lieu of other types of mineral barriers were highlighted, the literature is currently lacking of studies related to a quantification of the impacts on the terrestrial ecosystems and the human health, associated with the entire life cycle of GCLs. Therefore, the thesis activity will be focused on the analysis of the environmental impacts (e.g., release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, exploitation of mineral resources, etc.) that are generated by all the phases the life of these geosynthetic products consists of, starting with the quarrying of the raw material from the natural deposit (i.e., bentonite) up to the phases of transport and installation of the GCLs, with the aim to develop a study that assesses, in a quantitative manner, the environmental sustainability of lining systems consisting of GCLs. To this end, structured and globally standardised analysis methods, such as the life cycle assessment, can be used.

Deadline 16/06/2023      PROPONI LA TUA CANDIDATURA

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