Schwarze Pumpe: Structural change in the soil too

Half-time for soil remediation at the former gas combine

Spremberg. It was the largest energy combine in the former GDR. Until the 1990s there were briquette factories, power and steam generation, coking plant and town gas production were located on the Schwarze Pumpe site. Up to 125,000 tonnes of raw lignite were delivered daily from the from the surrounding opencast mines, processed and around 85 per cent of all the GDR's town gas was GDR was produced here. Industrial history and legacies that are also reflected in the soil. Since 2017, the consortium Bauer Resources GmbH and Lobbe, on behalf of the Lausitzer and Mitteldeutsche Bergbau-Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, has been working on soil remediation. Lobbe operates a vacuum operates a vacuum-thermal cleaning plant on the site. It is unique and the first Lobbe soil remediation plant of this dimension. are proud that the conception of the plant, as we have we developed it delivers extraordinarily good results," says Corina Fiskal, Lobbe Industrieservice GmbH & Co KG.

Lobbe designed the vacuum-thermal cleaning system.

Structural change becomes clear
Today, numerous industrial companies are located here, reflecting the structural change in Lusatia. Soil remediation in the form of source strength reduction by means of soil exchange (QMBA) is halfway completed. The polluted soils contain phenols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile (PAH) and volatile aromatic hydrocarbons (BTEX). (BTEX).
A total of approx. 280,000 tonnes of of these soils have to be extracted from a depth of up to 14 metres and treated. Lobbe is the builder and operator of the vacuum-thermal plant on behalf of the Lausitzer und Mitteldeutsche Mining Management Company Ltd (LMBV). The LMBV awarded the contract for the remediation of the contaminated May 2017 to the consortium Lobbe/Bauer. Lobbe/Bauer. Lobbe designed a concept based on the experience from other large-scale projects and the specifications LMBV, designed a vacuum thermal plant that is unique in Germany. plant. The process engineering concept Lobbe had already tested the process concept at other sites.
Two-stage heating
163,000 tonnes from the advance excavation and from 75 single sheet pile boxes (approx. 10 x 11 m), have so far been delivered by lorry from the excavation areas to the interim storage area. There, the contaminated soils are successively removed by wheel loader of the contaminated soils via the loading hopper for treatment in the vacuum-thermal cleaning plant (VTRA). (VTRA). The VTRA has two dryers with filters and a vacuum system. "Under vacuum of up to 20 millibars absolute, the contaminated soil is the contaminated soil is heated in batches to 250 to 280 to 280 degrees Celsius up to the boiling point of the pollutant to be treated," explains Corina Fiskal. The hot water vapour with pollutants produced in the first with the pollutants is cooled down and can be and can be discharged into the waste water analytical checks, it can be discharged into the wastewater treatment plant. The pollutants evaporating in the second stage are also condensed, collected in containers and finally collected in containers and finally disposed of properly as hazardous waste.
Lobbe is the operator of this plant, and many years of years of know-how was bundled for this technology. In autumn 2018, the VTRA went into trial operation, Since then, the remediation of the contaminated soils has been underway. The quality of the soil treated by VTRA meets high criteria and the the quality of the soils treated by the VTRA meets high criteria and the soil may then be filled back into the excavation pits. excavation pits. The installation above the post-mining groundwater level groundwater level ensures that water protection in the region is taken into account. is taken into account. The entire project will run until the end of of the year 2022.

The contaminated soil is heated to 250 to 280 degrees Celsius by means of negative pressure.


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