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NIckel DYnamics in impacted ultramaFIC Soils (NIDYFICS)
Start date: Feb 1, 2013, End date: Jan 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The concept of the NIDYFICS project is to connect researchers in environmental geosciences for high level discussions and exchanges and for transfer of knowledge between European and Brazilian institutions. A key point is the training of young researchers in a promising research field by working with and sharing knowledge with experts.Pyrometallurgical process of metallic ores generates large amounts of wastes, considered as hazardous materials, as they contain potentially toxic elements, like nickel. Wastes are reused for construction or reprocessed, but a significant fraction is commonly dumped on soil surface or into lakes, where their dispersal by wind or water may have environmental impact on large areas. Another way of reuse could be in agronomy as soil additive.The purpose of the NIDYFICS project is to characterize the dynamics of Ni and other associated metals in the soil-waste-plant-water continuum in the ultramafic massif of Barro Alto (Goïas, Brazil), which is considered as a biodiversity hotspot. Thus, it is crucial to unravel the solid speciation of metals, which controls their potential release and mobility to assess the environmental impact of wastes spreading onto soils. Moreover, to understand and quantify the metal dynamics, the measure of metal isotopic ratios is a key tool to trace their sources and fate in the environment. Finally, the benefits and also the risk of metal contamination associated to the waste reutilization in the sugar cane production will be assessed at pot and field scales.This pluridisciplinary project involves soil scientists, spectroscopists, geochemists and agronomists, who already started to work in synergy on this topic. This joint research and exchange project will lead to the acquisition of basic results about Ni geochemistry, to the proposition of valorization strategies for the pyrometallurgical wastes, and to the training of young scientists who will later be involved in academic or applied research."
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