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Environment

To keep the environmental footprint of industries as small as possible using innovative techniques, in compliance with regulatory requirements and the expectations of our shareholders, and to control our impacts on water and soil.

PERL Environment

EXPERTISE

WATER TREATMENT
Optimization or development of oily water, and sometimes water viscosified with polymers, treatment processes. Treatment, recycling and reuse of industrial waste water using membrane processes, oxidation, absorption, adsorption, biotreatment. Wastewater can be used to produce microalgae and valorize CO2.

TREATMENT OF SOIL AND GROUNDWATER
Characterization, treatment, monitoring and valorization of soil and groundwater as part of site management and remediation. Development of field tools, implementation of tests in the laboratory and on industrial pilots.

AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS AND IMPACT ASSESSMENT
Anticipating developments in regulations – in particular those aimed at “zero biodiversity impact” – on discharge waters by developing pertinent ecological monitoring and characterization techniques that can also predict environmental impact.

ECOSYSTEM MICROBIOLOGY
Managing the latest molecular biology and bioinformatics analysis tools to use microbial communities as biomarkers.
Improving the understanding of microbial ecosystems to inhibit or stimulate specific microorganisms.

groundwater monitoring

Groundwater monitoring

EXPERIMENTAL means:

 

  • AROUND THIRTY PILOTS of variable size, from a few millimeters to several cubic meters.
  • A NETWORK OF 16 PILOT RIVERS
  • ADYCHATS (Aquifer Dynamic CHAracterization Tools System), an experimental platform fitted with 20 boreholes over 6 ha to develop and validate field tools for the characterization, monitoring and remediation of groundwater.
  • A DNA SEQUENCING AND RADIORESPIROMETRY LABORATORY for soil studies.
  • A 4 m3 RACEWAY for cultivating microalgae in open ponds.
     

MAIN PARTNERSHIPS

University of Toulouse, University of Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, ENSI Poitiers, Kansas University, Amphos 21 (Spain), INRS Quebec, University of Bordeaux, Ifremer, Oklahoma University, British Geological Survey, École Centrale de Lyon, Paris Institute of Earth Physics.

THE PILOT RIVERS, A UNIQUE SET-UP

The network of 16 pilot rivers of PERL

The network of 16 pilot rivers at the PERL

This outdoor laboratory is unmatched in the oil and gas industry. It consists in 16 artificial watercourses deviated from the Gave de Pau (river). It is used to study how industrial effluent discharges affect freshwater, assess these impacts using biological indicators and evaluate the risks related to specific substances. The facility is used in particular to develop competencies hub in ecotoxicology as part of an I-site partnership chair between Total, the University of Pau et Pays de l’Adour (UPPA) and Rio Tinto, initiated in 2019 to evaluate the impact of chemicals in freshwater.

The main research themes are the evaluation of new environmental monitoring tools in freshwater, the qualification and validation of genetics-based tools (environmental DNA, metabarcoding, barcoding, sequencing, etc.) and the bioavailability of pollutants. Lastly, the issue of climate change and its impact on watercourses is a subject of increasing concern for the management of water resources in Europe in particular.

Discover the pilot rivers, a unique set-up. Play the video.

MICROALGAE TO VALORIZE CO2

Use CO2 to produce biomass to be valorized into biofuel, specially biogas. The PERL capitalizes on its cross-disciplinary expertise in water treatment (biological in particular), to increase the energy efficiency of this microalgae value chain to produce low-carbon energy and electricity. The research center has equipped itself with innovative infrastructures to unlock the technological keys to the bioconversion of CO2 by microalgae:

  • photobioreactors for optimizing the growth of microalgae;
  • a 4 m3 "open pond raceway" pilot.

The PERL has also patented a respirometry tool for the monitoring of microalgae activity.

Culture of microalgae in Raceway

Growing microalgae in a raceway