Department of Earth Sciences

FIBREM: Remediation of Sweden’s Fiberbank Sediment – Planning Ahead.

FIBREM is a 3-year VINNOVA funded research and innovation project (2017-2019) targeting so-called `fiberbank´ sediments. These atypical and heavily polluted anthropogenic sediments occur in Swedish coastal and inland waters, and stem from decades of unregulated release of waste by the paper and pulp industry. Environmental impacts from Sweden´s fiberbank sediments contravene the Environmental Quality Objectives of A Non-Toxic Environment and A Balanced Marine Environment, Flourishing Coastal Areas and Archipelagos.

Grab sample of almost pure cellulose fiber from a fiberbank in Ångermanälven (Source SGU)

FIBREM will work towards mitigating these impacts by preparing effective management of fiberbanks at an industrial scale. Remediation of fiberbank sediments must be science-based, technically defensible and economically practical. To that end, FIBREM will:

Objective 1: Develop affordable and routinely applicable methods for field characterization of fiberbank sediments, which will allow for correct assessments of density, volume and strength. Such methods are needed for remedy selection and design.

Objective 2: Test the effectiveness of selected in-situ sediment remediation technologies, established for contaminated minerogenic sediments but not yet for fiberbank sediments. Laboratory-scale tests of in-situ capping and treatments, incorporating conventional and active materials, will be carried out in specially designed sediment columns and tank monoliths to evaluate their short- and long-term effectiveness.

Hypothetical solutions to isolating the contaminated sediments. Laboratory tests will be undertaken to test alternative technologies.

FIBREM includes research institutes, government authorities, small-medium enterprises, regional county boards and industry. The project partners are:

Professor Ian Snowball, Uppsala University

Dr Joseph Jersak, SAO Environmental Consulting AB

Dr Sarah Josefsson, Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU)

Professor Karin Wiberg, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

Dr Paul Frogner-Kockum, Swedish Geotechnical Institute (SGI)