Project Vodamin II is supported by the Free State of Saxony – Czech Republic Cooperation Program 2014-2020 within the framework of the European Territorial Cooperation Program of the European Fund for Regional Development. Both German and Czech companies and research institutions are working together on the implementation of this project.

The home page of the complete project can be found under the following Link.


Article in „International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer" (September 2021)

Article in „Oil Gas European Magazine" (März 2021)


Project Objectives

Throughout the project timeframe of September 2016 and May 2020, environmental conservation initiatives for both northern Bohemia and the Elbe River Basin of the Ore Mountains in Saxony, Germany are to be planned and carried out.

Among the most important tasks of the project are:

  • execution of hydrogeological exploratory drilling
  • continuous recording and hydrogeological analysis of the chemical characteristics of water bodies
  • creation of a database and maps
  • collection of data concerning the thermal potential of water bodies for possible geothermal use
  • investigation of fouling characteristics in heat exchangers use to recover energy from mine water
  • evaluation of the common assisted area from the standpoint of using mining water as a heat source
  • preparation of a handbook for mine owners, public institutions, and other potential users of mine water as an energy source.
  • interpretation of results and presentation of the results to the public

A database will be developed with the data collected from mine water in the Brüx Basin, as well as from groundwater potentially contaminated from mine tailings in the Freiberg district. This database will help improve cooperation in establishing joint management plans and a catalog of recommended remediation measures. It is hoped that by testing and monitoring possible seepage of contaminants from the old mine tailings in Freiberg, as well as summarizing the finding up to this point, the cross-border review of the success of the remediation activities will be improved. In the end, the development of a handbook for use of the water as an energy source will facilitate further decisions making in regard to the utilization of these water bodies in the context of regional planning and investments.

Furthermore, the project will also be continued after the established end date. The intention is that the cross-border cooperation among the project partners will be continued through regular project group meetings, as well as the development and implementation of projects, which encourage further water preservation efforts in the Saxon-Bohemian border region.

Our shared goal is to improve the living conditions of the people residing the board region through extensive teamwork in confronting the problems facing both surface and mine waters.

Project Partners

Palivový kombinát Ústí, s.p.

The leading beneficiary responsible for the execution of the entire Project VODAMIN II is the state agency Palivový kombinát Ústí, s.p.. Within the scope of their responsibilities, nineteen hydrogeological exploratory drillings will be conducted in the assisted area. These will serve to provide the other project partners with mine water samples and with information for creating a database for presenting the results to the public.

Palivový kombinát Ústí, s.p. is concerned with remedying the consequences of lignite mining and petroleum and natural gas drilling by returning the landscape to a state similar to how it was before the mining began. Some of the most important projects being carried out by this agency include a comprehensive revitalization of the old Chabařovice und Most-Ležáky open-pit mines, the remediation of ecologically contaminated sites from the extraction of petroleum and natural gas in South Moravia, and monitoring the water balance of the mine water in post-mining areas.

For more information, please visit: www.pku.cz

Technical University of Ostrava

The College of Mining at the Technical University of Ostrava is one of the Czech project partners. Among the university’s most important tasks is establishing an entity for monitoring the drilling network and collecting samples in order to characterize the concentration of different substances and their transport in the environment.

Another component of the work will include monitoring the ground water level in the drill holes with the lead beneficiary, the establishment of a hydrogeological model, and the preparation of maps. As a product of these tasks, a final report will be composed, which summarizes the prospective measures for the protection of surface waters from the uncontrolled discharge of mine water after the discontinuation of mining activities and from extracted waters in the decommissioned parts of the mining district. As one of the project milestones, a model of a heat exchanger will be developed to maximize the transport of the thermal gradients,enabling further research in this application.

The College of Mining at the Technical University of Ostrava (Vysoká škola báňská – Technická univerzita Ostrava) is among the best technical and business universities in the Czech Republic and in Europe. The university actively offers services in the areas of both applied and theoretical research, as well as essential consulting services for industry, banking, and business, including lifelong learning.

Info: www.vsb.cz/en

TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Among the topics to be explored by the Institute for Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, the suitability of mine water for heating and cooling applications will be investigated in close collaboration with the Institute of Mining and Geological Engineering. Strict requirements will be defined for the heat exchangers employed in this application. The impurities found in the mine water have proven to be problematic, as they accelerate heat exchanger fouling and result in a drop in plant performance over time.

Therefore, the goal is to investigate possibilities, which allow for the reliable operation of these geothermal processes. Over the project timeframe, a monitoring program for the selected locations in the assisted area will be organized. Through the combination of mine-water chemistry testing and the data from the heat exchangers, the optimal operating conditions will be identified, which will allow for the increased expansion of geothermal mine-water systems. Furthermore, an operating manual will be developed, which will be presented to potential users of these systems. It is intended that this work will lead to an increased contribution of renewable and base-load-capable energy sources to the energy-mix.

As a research institution, the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology and its six departments concentrate on the development of and education in alternative technologies for the mining of raw materials, technologies for the energy industry, and material and recycling processes. In this way, the university provides a key contribution to solving economic and ecological problems.

For more information, please visit: www.tu-freiberg.de/en

Zittau/Görlitz University of Applied Sciences

Through the Institute for Process Development and Peat and Natural Material Research (iTN) a database will be constructed, in which the data collected from water monitoring carried out by Saxonia in the old Freiberg mining area will be presented. While the results up to this point indicate that remediation has been a success, the corresponding data currently exists in different formats and qualities and, thus, must be processed and consolidated into a central log, which will also be used in the future.

Moreover, iTN will offer expert advice on and assistance with pilot experiments on test fields in the Freiberg area. The possibility of covering the mine tailings will be studied in order to investigate the effect this has on reducing the yearly accumulation of wastewater from the tailings, as well as on the diffuse infiltration of tailing contaminants into the ground water. It will also be determined if the infiltration of precipitation through critical soil layers can be reduced by means of this coverage. Furthermore, it is important that the materials used can be locally and inexpensively sourced in large quantities. For the purposes of data collection, a measurement station will also be installed in the test fields.

With the collaboration of iTN, a task force will be formed along with a work and impact strategy for the interdisciplinary, cross-border investigations being pursued. The focus of these efforts will be the exchange of experiences between the old mine contamination sites and the emerging remediation and monitoring needs, resulting from the decline of lignite mining.

The iTN is an affiliated institute of the Zittau/Görlitz University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with the International Institute of Zittau (IHI) and the Dresden University of Applied Sciences (HTW). It fosters close relationships with different national and international mining, trade, industrial, and research institutions; colleges and universities; professional societies; and government agencies.

Range of Activities

  • Analysis and characterization of peat and natural materials
  • Research in recycling of natural materials
  • Landfill technology and soil substrate research
  • Technology research (material breakdown, preparation of organic and inorganic disperse materials and mixtures)

For more information, please visit: www.itn.hszg.de

SAXONIA Site Development and Management Company LLC

Within the scope of the project, the SAXONIA Site Development and Management Company will analyze the results of the rehabilitation projects in the Freiberg Region, as well as monitor the ground and surface waters in regions with ecologically contaminated sites. Based on these tasks, a database will be developed along with a plan for recording the water quality of the Freiberger Mulde.

SAXONIA is a company associated with the county of Middle-Saxony and the university town of Freiberg and is an integral part of the regional economic structure. The company has shaped the local economy through active economic development, targeted revitalization, and site- and environmental management. Business initiatives and cooperative efforts in selected technology areas of the region are supported, further developed, and brought to market by competency networks. Practical experience in the areas of land and project management, as well as in infrastructure and consulting services, are complemented by fostering extensive cooperative relationships.

For more information, please visit: www.saxonia-freiberg.de