Sustainable remediation

We design solutions in agreement with all stakeholders and with respect for the environment.

About sustainable remediation and why we support it

Integrating sustainability principles into remediation means identifying the best solutions in terms of environmental, social and territorial impact. As well as fully involving the stakeholders in the decision-making process, we aim to ensure that the following objectives are met:

  • protection of human health and the environment
  • removal of contaminants from groundwater and soil, with a strong focus on their recovery and reuse
  • application of innovative and sustainable technologies with regard to environmental, social and economic impact
  • encouraging the re-use and regeneration of areas in line with spatial planning tools, starting from the project design phase
  • reducing the carbon footprint of remediation activities.

Types of remediation

Remediation processes can be classified according to where they are carried out:

Recovery and/or treatment operations whereby contaminants are managed in place at within the natural matrix, without the need for excavation or handling.



Less invasive, as the contaminated environmental matrix is treated on-site.


Soil storage for soil washing

The treatment of the contaminated environmental matrix takes place away from the site of origin. Eni Rewind does not favour this type of treatment, as it has a major impact on the environment.


Excavation and disposal

Remediation techniques

We manage all aspects and phases of every remediation project, from characterisation analysis of the various environmental matrices, to the design, execution of works and post-operational monitoring, in full compliance with current environmental legislation and with a view to the future use of restored areas as well as the application of innovative technologies.  When making decisions, we take into account the type of contamination in relation to possible environmental and human receptors, i.e. the characteristics of the specific contaminant. We also assess the environmental benefits and future reuse of the area, preferring those that restore soil and water in place, without resorting to excavation and disposal, and minimising the impacts of the interventions.

The remediation technologies handbook

Creating innovation in the complex world of environmental remediation is a commitment that requires a great deal of expertise. In our remediation technologies Handbook, we include what we have learnt and confirmed through years of experience of carrying out many complex projects throughout the country, as well as an overview of Eni's innovative technologies and methodologies. This comprehensive overview takes the specific type of contaminants and the environmental context into account, with diagrams, infographics and photographs. It is not only intended for professionals, but also those without a specific background who would like to understand remediation better.

Mockups Design

Our handbook

An overview of the best remediation technologies for a contaminated site.


Research for innovation

Developing increasingly innovative and environmentally friendly solutions and overcoming any critical issues linked to the intervention methodology is fundamentally important to Eni Rewind. In this regard, scientific and technical competences are key elements for testing new technologies and implementing others. The aim is to make progress in terms of environmental sustainability and the effectiveness of interventions, as well as energy efficiency and safety. At Eni, research activities are mainly carried out by the Renewable Energy and Environment Research Centre (Novara) and the Oil & Gas Laboratory (San Donato Milanese), as well as through a network of collaborations with various Italian and foreign universities. We have alliances with the Polytechnics of Milan and Turin, the Universities of Sapienza in Rome, Ca' Foscari in Venice and Alma Mater Studiorum in Bologna, the National Research Council and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

E-hyrec® is an automatic device that is placed inside groundwater extraction wells for the selective removal of hydrocarbons (LNAPL - Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid or supernatant) from groundwater. The core of the technology is a hydrophobic filter (patented by Eni) that only separates and extracts the contaminated water from the water table, greatly reducing the amount of water and waste sent for disposal. Compared to traditional systems, the use of the e-hyrec® device guarantees faster, more effective and efficient groundwater remediation, making an important contribution to the protection and conservation of water resources. To date, thanks to the 44 e-hyrec® devices installed at our Gela, Priolo Gargallo and Porto Torres sites and at the remediation sites of several service stations, we have recovered more than 350,000 litres of supernatant oil in much less time than with traditional technologies, avoiding the disposal of more than 1,000 tonnes of equivalent waste. By 2022 we will have implemented e-hyrec® devices at other Eni Rewind sites in Italy. The device has also been made available to third-party customers as part of the opening up of our environmental services to customers outside Eni's captive market.

The e-limina® method (which stands for Eni linking isotopic and microbial investigations to aid natural attenuation) was developed by Eni research. It involves combining two monitoring systems, microbiological fingerprinting and isotopic fingerprinting, to establish the state and progress of biodegradation of the contaminants and assess the advisability of biological treatment. It was developed and validated for volatile organohalogen compounds and hydrocarbons and can be applied to any type of matrix during characterisation, to accelerate the existing natural attenuation phenomena, and during monitoring to check the biodegradation status of contaminants in real time. The method is highly selective and high-precision, so it reduces the risk margins common to many remediation techniques.

This monitoring methodology, developed in collaboration with Eni research and a number of national and international universities, including the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, makes it possible to assess the leaching of contaminants from the soil to groundwater and their volatilisation from the soil to the surface using sheets of polyethylene film (LDPE). This makes it possible to determine the actual distribution of contaminants n the sediment and volatile organic compounds in the soil gas, so that the most sustainable remediation measures can be identified, based on the actual need for remediation where contamination is present and available. In 2019, we completed the methodology’s laboratory development phase and started the validation phase with field trials and the organisation of inter-laboratory tests. Passive sampling is also being studied as part of the agreement signed between the Unione Energie per la Mobilità (UNEM ex Unione Petrolifera) and ISPRA for the development of innovative forms of remediation and sampling. The aim is to test and validate its suitability as a simple and alternative tool to traditional monitoring systems. In 2021 we are planning joint testing and validation campaigns at different Eni Rewind sites.

Eni Rewind’s Partnerships with Universities

Ongoing interaction with universities enables us to continue selecting, developing and updating technologies with a focus on sustainability. We have validated the model for assessing the sustainability of environmental techniques and measures with the Ca' Foscari University of Venice Foundation. This collaboration will also lead to the drafting of an Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) Guideline applicable to water, soil and sediment matrices that are potentially affected by contamination. This is the first reference for standardising ecological risk analysis in Italy. These assessments will be tested on practical case studies to verify their applicability for real remediation situations. At the same time, collaborations and joint projects continue with:

  • the Sapienza University of Rome on innovative groundwater treatment subjects, with field trials of recirculation wells and reactive permeable barriers
  • the Polytechnic of Milan to study and test the applicability of thermal desorption technologies and the application of innovative technologies for the abatement of certain pollutants in production waters
  • the Polytechnic University of Turin for research into innovative solutions for the treatment of groundwater and water related to mining activities, and the experimental application of technologies based on the use of nanoparticles for the abatement of certain classes of contaminants
  • the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna for new research initiatives in the areas of sustainability, circularity and creating value in the Water & Waste sectors
  • the University of Rome Tor Vergata for testing innovative environmental survey tools.

Environmental laboratories

Eni Rewind's environmental laboratories in Ferrara, Priolo Gargallo and Assemini are national benchmarks for matrix sampling and analysis. They have vast experience in national and international scientific circles and numerous collaborations with universities, research institutes and standardisation bodies. The three centres are equipped with modern, constantly updated, high-tech scientific instruments and are able to support research activities relating to the design and implementation of remediation interventions. Our laboratories have achieved multi-site ACCREDIA accreditation, in accordance with the requirements of UNI EN ISO IEC 17025, for the main soil, groundwater, wastewater and gaseous emissions analyses.