Leuna 1

Groundwater Remediation Research Facility (Germany)

Research at the Compartment Transfer (CoTra) pilot plant aims to develop ecotechnologies for groundwater remediation of large-scale contaminated sites (such as refineries). The CoTra facility has been in operation since 2007. For developing a suitable ecotechnology the pilot plants are operated with contaminated groundwater from the old refinery mega site in Leuna, Germany. The groundwater is mainly contaminated with MTBE and benzene. The required limits for the remediation were defined with 200 µg/L for MTBE and 1 µg/L for benzene. Other requirements for a technical suitable and economical feasible process are that air emissions should be reduced to a minimum, the precipitation of minerals (Fe, Mn, Ca) do not affect the technical installations and that the technology can be operated in a reliable and robust state over a long time period.
Based on the results at the CoTra – research site the developed vertical filter system was constructed at full scale. For the full scale ecotechnology it could be shown that (a) the design of the plant combines reliability in long-term operation even in the winter periods with (b) a sufficient cleaning performance for benzene and MTBE (c) complete removal of iron oxide hydrates, minimum CaCO3 precipitation and (d) marketable costs.
In future the design of the developed ecotechnology is envisaged for substituting the conventional air stripping and activated carbon filtration in place.


Dr. Manfred van Afferden

Tel.: 0341 235 1848
Fax: 0341 235 183