Project no. 413
JordSim: A Multidimensional Multiphysics Modelling
Tool for Green Remediation Technologies
1 DTU Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
2 Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Padova
Contaminated land is a global issue and the number of sites worldwide which require
remediation activities has been estimated in the hundreds of thousands. Nowadays the
research aims at developing alternative cleanup technologies to treat contaminants “in situ”
(without excavation) with sustainable techniques such as electrokinetic remediation (EK),
which uses electric energy to remove both organic pollutants and heavy metals. A major
obstacle in the optimization and scalability of this technology is the absence of a modelling
tool able to evaluate the complex transport mechanisms and geochemical interactions with
the soil in multiple dimensions. JordSim, the tool developed in this study, successfully
integrates these features for real-world applications, design and optimization of EK
technologies and with possible uses in several other applications for subsurface remediation
techniques and risk assessment of contaminated sites.
The proposed model is a coupling between COMSOL Multiphysics® and PhreeqcRM
through a MATLAB® interface which enables to combine any groundwater transport
mechanism with a wide range of chemical and geochemical reactions. Advantages with
respect to existing models is the unique possibility to model EK processes in
multidimensional heterogeneous scenarios with complex physical and biogeochemical
processes, including aqueous speciation equilibria, a wide range of geochemical reactions
including mineral precipitation and dissolution, as well as contaminant degradation kinetics.
RESULTS AND OUTLOOK
The model has been validated against analytical solutions, 1-D equivalent setup and highresolution
experimental data for the reactive transport of contaminants under natural
groundwater flow conditions  and for engineered EK applications . The latter include: (i)
the simulation of heavy metals and metalloids removal in low permeability matrices, (ii) the
design of efficient amendment delivery for enhanced contaminant degradation, and (iii) the
optimal electrodes setups to minimize installation costs.
JordSim applications of primary environmental relevance are envisioned in the fields of
remediation of contaminated sites and mine tailings, as well as in the field of mine activities
towards sustainable and less invasive technologies.
 Rolle, M., Sprocati, R., Masi, M., Jin, B., & Muniruzzaman, M. (2018). Nernst‐Planck
Based Description of Transport, Coulombic Interactions and Geochemical Reactions in
Porous Media: Modeling Approach and Benchmark Experiments. Water Resources
Research, 54. DOI: 10.1002/2017WR022344.
 Sprocati, R., Masi, M., Muniruzzaman, M. & M. Rolle. A charge-based multidimensional
approach to simulate electrokinetic subsurface remediation. In preparation.