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Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems

VEGAS - Research Facility for Subsurface Remediation

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VEGAS Equipment The VEGAS laboratory (length approx. 36m, width approx. 18m, height 11m) was built as an extension of the existing hydraulic laboratory of the Institut für Wasserbau (Institute of Hydraulic Engineering).




Large Scale Experimental Flumes and Containers

Different containers and flumes (mobile or stationary) in various sizes are available to set up and conduct experiments. In order to withstand the contaminants, all containers are made out of highly resistant stainless steel.

All containers are lined with highly corrosion resistant stainless steel. They are installed such that they can be approached and operated from all sides. This facilitates on one hand that measurement devices may be added at any time and at any location and on the other hand it is to ensure that potential leaks may be detected and sealed immediately.

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Top view on part of the Large Rectangular Container (18,5m x 9m x 4,5m); in this picture divided into three basins

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Large Flume (16m x 1m x 3m), front side made out of glass

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Large Cylindrical Container (Ø ca. 3m, height 6,5m)

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Roll on – Roll off Container to transport field material (6,5m x 2,2m x 2,5m)

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Small Stainless Steel Container (l/h/w approx. 100/70/10 cm)

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Analytical Laboratory

The VEGAS analytical laboratory is equipped for determining organic and inorganic contaminants in soil and groundwater. Currently, the equipment of the analytical laboratory includes for example: GC/MS, GC/ECD/FID, ASE, IC, HPLC, ICP-OES, TOC (liquid/solid), UV/Vis - Photometer.

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Measuring Equipment

A variety of measuring devices to determine important parameters such as saturation, temperature, pH, pressure, concentration of contaminants or tracers, etc is available for both laboratory and field applications:

  • TDR, Time Domain Reflectrometry, for the determination of water and NAPL saturation in soils
  • System to monitor temperature distribution in the subsurface for both laboratory and field applications at a high resolution (remote process control and data acquisition)
  • Multi-channel fiberoptical Probes to determine the concentration of dissolved contaminants and tracers in the subsurface
  • Fiberoptical Probes to detect contaminants as a separate fluid (NAPL)
  • Gamma-System to determine water and/or contaminant saturations in small flumes
  • Cells to measure capillary pressure – saturation relationships for various fluids
  • Various tensiometers for the measurement of surface and interfacial tension
  • Different viscosimeters
  • Especially developed devices to take soil and water samples containing volatile components under anaerobic conditions.
  • Microsensors to measure the electrical conductivity
  • Various soil sampling devices (core drilling)
  • Mobile GC-PID, available as stand-alone and remote control system
  • Automated multi-channel water sampler

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Process Engineering Equipment

Different aggregates and soil remediation process equipment are available for both laboratory and field applications to solve problems in transportation, dosage, treatment, separation of liquids (water, chemicals) and gases (highly contaminated, explosive, etc.):

  • Submersible pumps from 2” to 6” diameter
  • Industrial peristaltic and Mohno-pumps
  • Side channel blowers (50 -500 m³/h), vacuum piston pumps (up to 1000 m³/h)
  • Activated carbon and sand filters (up to 5 m³/h water or 1000 m³/h air)
  • Steam generator (50 kW), spiral compressors (up to 60 m³/h)
  • High precision laboratory pumps

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Shops and Specialized Equipment

  • Controlled Temperature Room +4° C bis +30° C
  • Explosion Protected Room for experiments with critical contaminants
  • Storage facility for contaminated material
  • Shops (Electronics, Metal, Wood)
  • IT and miscellaneous technical infrastructure

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Treatment of Contaminated Water and Air

  • Sewage treatment plant to treat water contaminated with
    • organics (e.g. CHC, BTEX),
    • inorganic components (heavy metals) and
    • biodegradable substances (e.g. alcohols).
  • High-performance air-filtration and air-cleaning system for the extractor hoods of the analytical laboratory and the research containers.
  • Special treatment and purification systems, such as vacuum distillation units, on a technical scale

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