In Bitterfeld, various industrial processes have caused very large quantities of chlorinated hydrocarbons to penetrate the aquifer.

Removal and destruction of highly volatile substances

The highly volatile pollutants are converted into gas using three-phase desorption. A catalytic oxidation process breaks them down into water, carbon dioxide and hydrochloric acid. The hydrochloric acid is used in the process. 

The low volatile 1,1,2,2 tetrachloroethylene is also converted into a gas, but is then adsorbed using air activated carbon. The pH-value is re-neutralised using sodium hydroxide. Finally the water enters the water activated carbon stage, to ensure that the prescriptive limits are guaranteed.



  • Gravel filtration
  • Desorption, six phases
  • Activated carbon  adsorption
  • Neutralisation


  • Catalytic oxidation
  • Air activated carbon adsorption
  • Caustic scrubber
  • Recycling of hydrochloric acid
  • Alkaline scrubber


Disruptive materials

  • 1,1,2,2 tetrachloroethylene
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Vinyl chloride
  • VHH total of 980 mg/L
  • Sulphide up to 25 mg/L
  • Iron up to 98 mg/L