Plurimetric experimental pilot, PRIME platform. © BRGM

Depollution: new research and innovation platforms at the BRGM

Investigating pollutant transfers and developing depollution processes: the twin goals of the PRIME experimental pilot platforms inaugurated on 3 February 2020 in Orléans by the BRGM.

In France, more than 7,200 sites are contaminated by heavy metals such as lead, copper and chromium, as well as by hydrocarbons and organochlorine compounds, which include pesticides and solvents. The management of these polluted sites and soils is crucial from an environmental as well as from a health and economic perspective.

The French Geological Survey (BRGM)’s expertise focuses on the soil and the subsurface. Since the 1990s, BRGM has acquired advanced instrumentation to understand the impacts and patterns of pollution over time and to promote possible treatments.

Multi-scale platforms for pollution studies

BRGM CEO Michèle Rousseau, with François Bonneau, President of the Centre-Val de Loire Region, and Pierre Pouëssel, Prefect of Loiret and Centre-Val de Loire. © BRGM

On 3 February 2020, the BRGM inaugurated its PRIME platforms:

  • a very large 120 m3 multi-metric testing platform simulating natural soil and a water table, to study patterns of pollutant transport and changes in their physico-chemical and microbiological characteristics. The design of this multi-metric pilot is highly modular with numerous sensors, to enable all types of users (BRGM, research institutions, private companies) to conduct experiments in conditions close to those in situ but much better controlled.
  • experimental set-ups to centimetre and metre scale (tanks and columns) to conduct experiments and acquire the physical, chemical and biological parameters needed to understand pollutant transfers and develop depollution processes.

Inauguration of the multi-metric pilot (MMP). © BRGM

Inauguration of the multi-metric pilot (MMP). © BRGM

PRIME is part of the "Platforms for Environmental Innovation, Development and Technological Optimisation" (PIVOTS) Programme, initiated and supported by the Centre-Val de Loire Region as well as by the French government and the European Regional Development Fund. PIVOTS is a coordinated set of analytical and testing platforms bringing together public and private-sector players in metrology and environmental engineering.



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