LIFE SURFING - SURFactant enhanced chemical oxidation for remediatING DNAPL

LIFE17 ENV/ES/000260

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Contact details:

Contact person: Elena Cano Lazaro
Tel: 34976714000
Email: ecano@aragon.es

Project description:


Hexachlorocyclohexane, commonly known as Lindane, is a pesticide that has been prohibited or restricted in most European countries due to its toxicity. Since 1950, some 280 000 tonnes of Lindane were used in Europe. The region of Aragon in Spain is home to three sites that have been heavily contaminated. One of them, the Bailin ravine, previously served as a landfill for Lindane-containing waste. Its improper management has resulted in ground leaching and contamination of the local aquifer. Though the landfilled waste itself has been relocated to a secure isolation cell, it has left viscous residues of Lindane that spread over surfaces and seep into fractures within rocks. Efforts to manage these residues have succeeded in removing the bulk of the substance from the contaminated site, but eliminating it completely has so far proven challenging.


The LIFE SURFING project aims to fully eradicate pervasive pollutants in sites contaminated by Lindane. Regional authorities in Aragon, Spain, will demonstrate the benefits of combining techniques from surfactant enhanced aquifer remediation and surfactant-enhanced in situ chemical oxidation to extract Lindane residues from even the smallest fractures in rocks and remove it from natural environments completely. Project partners will field-test the combined technique in the Bailin ravine in Aragon. Better tools for decontaminating the aquifer would support the EU Water Framework Directive and Regulation No 850/2004 on persistent organic pollutants. Site measurements will also shed light on the technical, economic and environmental feasibility of the combined approach, and its benefits for public health and the environment. Results will help define a strategy to replicate the decontamination process along the Gallego river and ultimately expand it to contaminated sites affected by other kinds of pesticides and pollutants.

Expected results:

  • Remove 1 800 kilogrammes of dense non-aqueous liquid phase Lindane residue from contaminated sites;
  • Assess the effectiveness of combining surfactant and oxidation-based techniques to remove Lindane residues;
  • Assess the extent to which decontamination reduces public health risks;
  • Expand the river Gallego ecological control network; and
  • Assess the technical and financial feasibility for full-scale implementation and plan the transfer of established practices to sites contaminated with other kinds of pesticides.



Environmental issues addressed:


organic pollution‚  agricultural pollution‚  pollutant elimination‚  groundwater‚  hazardous substance‚  old landfill site‚  diffuse pollution‚  water pollution‚  pest control‚  public health

Target EU Legislation

  • Land & Soil
  • COM(2006)231 - “Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection” (22.09.2006)
  • Chemicals & Hazardous substances
  • Regulation 850/2004 - Persistent organic pollutants (amended by Regulations 756 and 757/2010) (29 ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Gobierno de Aragón
Type of organisation Regional authority
Description The Rural Development and Sustainability Department within the public administration of the region of Aragon in Spain is responsible for agriculture, cattle, the agro-industry, forests, water and the environment. It has 25 years of experience and has invested €54 million in the fight against Lindane.
Partners Sociedad Aragonesa de Gestión Agroambiental S.L.U., Spain UNIVERSIDAD COMPLUTENSE DE MADRID, Spain Universitaet Stuttgart, Germany Stichting International HCH & Pesticides Association, The Netherlands


Project reference LIFE17 ENV/ES/000260
Duration 01-JAN-2019 to 30-JUN -2022
Total budget 2,081,507.00 €
EU contribution 1,182,452.00 €
Project location Aragón(España)


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