The EERC at the University of North Dakota has significant experience removing toxic
contaminants from soil and water, mitigating environmental challenges, and reclaiming
environmentally impacted landscapes and other properties.
Several core programs included in the EERC’s Center for Environmental Chemistry
and Reclamation work in concert with one another to prevent and clean environmental
contamination and further protect and improve the landscape and water sources around
Integrated Remediation and Contaminant Recovery
This specialized group at the EERC has received national recognition for its design
and implementation of advanced remediation and treatment systems for cleanup of
soil and/or groundwater contamination.
Practicing under the long-standing philosophy of collaboration and interdisciplinary
research and development, the EERC has developed numerous successful partnerships
with responsible parties, small businesses, industry, and regulatory agencies to
clean contaminated areas.
By integrating the most efficient contaminant recovery technologies with engineered
in situ degradation processes, the EERC finds solutions to considerably reduce the
time, labor, and costs required for site cleanup. The EERC uses innovative high-vacuum
systems to inject nutrients or reagents into the affected area to completely break
down contaminants and destroy spilled chemicals.
- Full-scale remediation system design and construction of the extraction system.
- Feasibility, assessment, and pilot tests.
- Site characterization and regulatory compliance monitoring and permitting.
- Emergency response remediation systems (mobile contaminant recovery system with integrated treatment units).
- Life cycle economic evaluation for remedial alternatives.
- Field project support and soil, water, and air sampling.
- Groundwater resource engineering and aquifer management.
- Hydrogeology and hydraulic and geochemical modeling.
The EERC has been leading the world for more than 25 years in the area of effectively
extracting compounds in environmentally friendly ways without the use of hazardous
Supercritical Fluid Extraction
The EERC utilizes the chemistry of water and carbon dioxide (CO2
under pressurized and heated (super- and subcritical) conditions to extract and
separate organic contaminants that are not efficiently extracted without the use
of hazardous organic compounds. This method reduces the time it takes to extract
compounds, uses less harmful solvents, and can be used over a broad range of pressures
Subcritical Water Extraction
The EERC is also a leader in manipulating the properties of subcritical water to
allow for selective extraction, separation, and destruction or sequestration of
select chemicals. Extraction technologies such as this have been used in flavor
and fragrance compounds, antioxidants, and pharmaceutical compounds from plants;
contaminants from soils; polymer additives from packaging materials; and destruction
Over the past nearly three decades, the EERC has received global recognition in
this area: securing two U.S. patents; producing more than 140 peer-reviewed publications;
publishing several peer-reviewed book chapters; giving hundreds of lectures in the
United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Far East; receiving
several national and international awards for excellence in research; and developing
collaborative research partnerships in 20 countries and all continents except Antarctica.
Mined Land Reclamation
Successful mined land reclamation requires a fundamental understanding of pre- and
postmining geologic and hydrogeologic settings and water movement through these
settings. The EERC has a long history studying and understanding the factors that
affect reclaiming and restoring mined landscapes, controlling subsidence and erosion,
and reestablishing high-quality groundwater.
The EERC’s research program emphasizes long-term monitoring and follow-up study
of factors controlling subsurface water quality, as well as chemistry and mineralogy,
texture, permeability, and precipitation on landscapes. EERC studies dating back
to the mid-1970s in the lignite strip mines of western North Dakota are based on
detailed instrumentation, monitoring, and analytical efforts.
Today, the EERC continues to provide clients this type of invaluable research data
in order to make intelligent decisions on how landscape reconstruction and reclamation
can be accomplished.
Supercritical and Subcritical Extraction Technologies
Environmental Chemistry and Waste Management
Integrated Remediation Technologies