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Sample records for acid mine drainage

  1. Acid mine drainage research in Canada

    Acidic drainage resulting from base metal, precious metal, and uranium mining is the largest single environmental problems facing the Canadian mining industry today. Technologies to prevent acidic drainage from occurring in waste rock piles and tailings sites, and on the walls of open pits and underground mines, need to be developed and demonstrated. There are two grounds in Canada which have accepted this challenge: the national Mine Environment Neutral Drainage (MEND) program and the British Columbia Acid Mine Drainage (BC AMD) Task Force. This paper summarizes the activities of these two organizations

  2. FISH HABITATS IMPACTED BY ACIDIC MINE DRAINAGE

    This data set represents in-stream fish spawning and hatching areas that have been impacted by elevated acid content waters discharging from areas near mining activities. It is based on an EPA fisheries survey completed in 1995. Acid Mine Drainage, or AMD, occurs when water co...

  3. GROUNDWATER IMPACTED BY ACID MINE DRAINAGE

    The generation and release of acidic, metal-rich water from mine wastes continues to be an intractable environmental problem. Although the effects of acid mine drainage (AMD) are most evident in surface waters, there is an obvious need for developing cost-effective approaches fo...

  4. Biological alkalinity generation in acid mine drainage

    Ecological Engineering and Biological Polishing technologies are a decommissioning approach to inactive coal, uranium and base metal mining operations. To improve acid mine drainage water, some fundamental aspects of wetland ecology and sediment microbiology are combined. The combination provides conditions which allow biomineralization of the contaminants. The authors report here the first records of microbial alkalinity generation in acid mine drainage, through the utilization of the ARUM (Acid Reduction Using Microbiology) process. Increases in pH are brought about by alkalinity-generating microbes such as sulfate reducers, iron reducers, methanogens, or denitrifiers. The ARUM process has been successful in increasing pH from 2.5 to 7.0 in laboratory-scale flow-through reactors operated continuously for more than 120 days. Ni was also reduced from 13 mg/l to < 0.01 mg/l. Batch ARUMators in the field have also performed well. Design parameters are being developed for low flow rates of 5 l/min in a pilot-scale system receiving seepage from mine tailings

  5. Evolution of Acid Mine Drainage Formation in Sulphidic Mine Tailings

    Bernhard Dold

    2014-01-01

    Sulphidic mine tailings are among the largest mining wastes on Earth and are prone to produce acid mine drainage (AMD). The formation of AMD is a sequence of complex biogeochemical and mineral dissolution processes. It can be classified in three main steps occurring from the operational phase of a tailings impoundment until the final appearance of AMD after operations ceased: (1) During the operational phase of a tailings impoundment the pH-Eh regime is normally alkaline to neutral and reduci...

  6. Chemical abatement of acid mine drainage formation

    Steven, J.

    1987-01-01

    Chemical and thermodynamic data were used to develop a unified model of hydroxo-, sulfato-, and bisulfato-iron complexes and their stability constants in iron-sulfate solutions. Free energy of formation for each ligand series species was hypothesized to be linear in ligand number because of supporting evidence from the literature. Laboratory tests on the inhibition of acid mine drainage bacteria were conducted. Benzoic acid, sorbic acid, and sodium lauryl sulfate at low concentrations (5 to 10 mg/liter) each effectively inhibited oxidation of ferrous iron in batch cultures of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans. The rate of chemical oxidation of ferrous iron in low-pH, sterile batch reactors was not substantially affected at the tested concentrations (5 to 50 mg/liter) of any of the compounds. Low-pH cultures of Thiobacillus thioxidans significantly increased zinc sulfide dissolution rates relative to sterile controls. Sodium lauryl sulfate, benzoic acid, and sorbic acid at concentrations of 10, 25, and 50 mg/liter, respectively, in identical low-pH, batch cultures of Thiobacillus thiooxidans, were sufficient for complete inhibition of bacterial zinc sulfide dissolution. Pilot-scale experiments on the abatement of acid mine drainage formation in both fresh and weathered pyritic coal refuse were also conducted. At doses of 0.5 g/kg and 5.0 g/kg in fresh and weathered refuse, respectively, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and most significantly, sodium lauryl surface, reduced the rate of iron, sulfate, and acidity production in water-leached barrels of coal refuse material.

  7. Bioreactor for acid mine drainage control

    Zaluski, Marek H.; Manchester, Kenneth R.

    2001-01-01

    A bioreactor for reacting an aqueous heavy metal and sulfate containing mine drainage solution with sulfate reducing bacteria to produce heavy metal sulfides and reduce the sulfuric acid content of the solution. The reactor is an elongated, horizontal trough defining an inlet section and a reaction section. An inlet manifold adjacent the inlet section distributes aqueous mine drainage solution into the inlet section for flow through the inlet section and reaction section. A sulfate reducing bacteria and bacteria nutrient composition in the inlet section provides sulfate reducing bacteria that with the sulfuric acid and heavy metals in the solution to form solid metal sulfides. The sulfate reducing bacteria and bacteria nutrient composition is retained in the cells of a honeycomb structure formed of cellular honeycomb panels mounted in the reactor inlet section. The honeycomb panels extend upwardly in the inlet section at an acute angle with respect to the horizontal. The cells defined in each panel are thereby offset with respect to the honeycomb cells in each adjacent panel in order to define a tortuous path for the flow of the aqueous solution.

  8. Remediation of Acid Mine Drainage with Sulfate Reducing Bacteria

    Hauri, James F.; Schaider, Laurel A.

    2009-01-01

    Sulfate reducing bacteria have been shown to be effective at treating acid mine drainage through sulfide production and subsequent precipitation of metal sulfides. In this laboratory experiment for undergraduate environmental chemistry courses, students design and implement a set of bioreactors to remediate acid mine drainage and explain observed…

  9. Copper isotope fractionation in acid mine drainage

    Kimball, B.E.; Mathur, R.; Dohnalkova, A.C.; Wall, A.J.; Runkel, R.L.; Brantley, S.L.

    2009-01-01

    We measured the Cu isotopic composition of primary minerals and stream water affected by acid mine drainage in a mineralized watershed (Colorado, USA). The ??65Cu values (based on 65Cu/63Cu) of enargite (??65Cu = -0.01 ?? 0.10???; 2??) and chalcopyrite (??65Cu = 0.16 ?? 0.10???) are within the range of reported values for terrestrial primary Cu sulfides (-1??? fractionation (??aq-min = ??65Cuaq - ??65Cumin, where the latter is measured on mineral samples from the field system), equals 1.43 ?? 0.14??? and 1.60 ?? 0.14??? for chalcopyrite and enargite, respectively. To interpret this field survey, we leached chalcopyrite and enargite in batch experiments and found that, as in the field, the leachate is enriched in 65Cu relative to chalcopyrite (1.37 ?? 0.14???) and enargite (0.98 ?? 0.14???) when microorganisms are absent. Leaching of minerals in the presence of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans results in smaller average fractionation in the opposite direction for chalcopyrite (??aq-mino = - 0.57 ?? 0.14 ???, where mino refers to the starting mineral) and no apparent fractionation for enargite (??aq-mino = 0.14 ?? 0.14 ???). Abiotic fractionation is attributed to preferential oxidation of 65Cu+ at the interface of the isotopically homogeneous mineral and the surface oxidized layer, followed by solubilization. When microorganisms are present, the abiotic fractionation is most likely not seen due to preferential association of 65Cuaq with A. ferrooxidans cells and related precipitates. In the biotic experiments, Cu was observed under TEM to occur in precipitates around bacteria and in intracellular polyphosphate granules. Thus, the values of ??65Cu in the field and laboratory systems are presumably determined by the balance of Cu released abiotically and Cu that interacts with cells and related precipitates. Such isotopic signatures resulting from Cu sulfide dissolution should be useful for acid mine drainage remediation and ore prospecting purposes. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Acid drainage (AD) in nature and environmental impact of acid mine drainage (AMD) in Southern Tuscany

    Acid drainage (AD) is a natural process occurring locally at the Earth's surface. It consists in a substantial increase of acidity of surface waters as a result of chemical reactions occurring in the atmosphere (i.e. acid rain) or involving reactive phases (i.e. pyrite) present in the percolated medium. Acidic surface waters (usually pH < 4) can be produced by oxidation of sulphides (mainly pyrite and other iron sulphides) exposed to atmospheric oxygen, while human activities, such as mining, can greatly enhance this process. Acid drainage promoted by mining activities is called acid mine drainage (AMD) and is a primary source of environmental pollution and a world-wide problem in both active and abandoned mining areas. In fact, exposure of iron sulphides to oxidising conditions produces strongly acidic drainage waters rich in sulphate and a variety of heavy elements (i.e. As, Cd, Pb, Sb). Several occurrences of active acid mine drainage have been found in the Metalliferous Hills (southern Tuscany). The most important AMD phenomena were observed in the Fenice Capanne and Niccioleta mining areas

  11. Origin of acid mine drainage in Enugu

    Mine flooding is a serious problem in the Enugu Coal Mines and has led to the abandonment of two of the four mines. About 1800 m3 of water is pumped out daily from the mines into the nearby streams. The source of this enormous volume of water has been established based on the hydrodynamics and hydrology of the area. Two prolific aquifers - an unconfined and a confined system - overlie the mines, but the mine water is derived principally from the unconfined aquifer. The pathway of flow is, provided by the numerous fractures connecting the two aquifers and the mine tunnel. The major hydrochemical activity resulting in pollution of the mine water occurs within the sumps in the floor of the longwalls. These sumps act as oxidation chambers where groundwater from the fractures mixes and subsequently reacts with sulfur-rich solutes released by coal mining. Contrary to general belief, the mine drainage has not seriously degraded the chemistry of receiving streams. The pH and electric conductivity, representing, the dissolved ions, were increased less than 10% of the values in the unaffected region

  12. Acid mine drainage: mining and water pollution issues in British Columbia

    NONE

    1998-12-31

    The importance of protecting water quality and some of the problems associated with mineral development are described. Negative impacts of mining operations such as sedimentation, water disturbances, and water pollution from waste rock and tailings are considered. Mining wastes, types of water pollution from mining, the legacy of acid mine drainage, predicting acid mine drainage, preventing and mitigating acid mine drainage, examples from the past, and cyanide heap-leaching are discussed. The real costs of mining at the Telkwa open pit coal mine are assessed. British Columbia mines that are known for or are potentially acid generating are shown on a map. 32 refs., 10 figs.

  13. Copper isotope fractionation in acid mine drainage

    Kimball, Bryn E; Mathur, Ryan; Dohnalkova, Alice; Wall, A J; Runkel, R L; Brantley, Susan L

    2009-03-01

    We surveyed the Cu isotopic composition of primary minerals and stream water affected by acid mine drainage in a mineralized watershed located in southwestern Colorado, USA. The δ65Cu values (based on 65Cu/63Cu) of local enargite (δ65Cu = -0.01 ± 0.10‰; 2σ) and chalcopyrite (δ65Cu = 0.16 ± 0.10‰) are within the general range of previously reported values for terrestrial primary Cu sulfides (-1‰ < δ65Cu < 1). These mineral samples show lower δ65Cu values than stream waters (δ65Cu = 1.36 - 1.74 ± 0.10‰), with an average isotopic fractionation (quantified as Δaq-mino = δ65Cuaq – δ65Cu min, where Cuaq is leached Cu and Cu mino is the original mineral) of 1.60 ± 0.14‰ and 1.43 ± 0.14‰ for enargite and chalcopyrite, respectively.

  14. Ochre precipitates and Acid Mine Drainage in a mine environment

    Máša, B.; Pulišová, Petra; Bezdička, Petr; Michalková, E.; Šubrt, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 56, č. 1 (2012), s. 9-14. ISSN 0862-5468 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) MEB0810136 Grant ostatní: Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic(SK) VEGA 1/0529/09 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40320502 Keywords : ochre precipitate * Acid Mine Drainage ( AMD ) * X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) * Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) * specific surface area and porosity Subject RIV: CA - Inorganic Chemistry Impact factor: 0.418, year: 2012

  15. Evolution of Acid Mine Drainage Formation in Sulphidic Mine Tailings

    Bernhard Dold

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Sulphidic mine tailings are among the largest mining wastes on Earth and are prone to produce acid mine drainage (AMD. The formation of AMD is a sequence of complex biogeochemical and mineral dissolution processes. It can be classified in three main steps occurring from the operational phase of a tailings impoundment until the final appearance of AMD after operations ceased: (1 During the operational phase of a tailings impoundment the pH-Eh regime is normally alkaline to neutral and reducing (water-saturated. Associated environmental problems include the presence of high sulphate concentrations due to dissolution of gypsum-anhydrite, and/or effluents enriched in elements such as Mo and As, which desorbed from primary ferric hydroxides during the alkaline flotation process. (2 Once mining-related operations of the tailings impoundment has ceased, sulphide oxidation starts, resulting in the formation of an acidic oxidation zone and a ferrous iron-rich plume below the oxidation front, that re-oxidises once it surfaces, producing the first visible sign of AMD, i.e., the precipitation of ferrihydrite and concomitant acidification. (3 Consumption of the (reactive neutralization potential of the gangue minerals and subsequent outflow of acidic, heavy metal-rich leachates from the tailings is the final step in the evolution of an AMD system. The formation of multi-colour efflorescent salts can be a visible sign of this stage.

  16. Proceedings of the international land reclamation and mine drainage conference and third international conference on the abatement of acidic drainage. Volume 1: Mine drainage -- SP 06A-94

    Volume 1 of these proceedings is divided into the following sections: Modeling mine water quality; Water treatment with wetlands; Predicting mine water quality; Water treatment--Chemical; Control of acid mine drainage--Wet covers; Site characterization monitoring; Control of acid mine drainage--Alkaline addition; and Mine water geochemistry. Papers dealing with or applicable to coal or uranium mining have been processed separately for inclusion on the data base

  17. Mine drainage treatment

    Golomeova, Mirjana; Zendelska, Afrodita; Krstev, Boris; Golomeov, Blagoj; Krstev, Aleksandar

    2012-01-01

    Water flowing from underground and surface mines and contains high concentrations of dissolved metals is called mine drainage. Mine drainage can be categorized into several basic types by their alkalinity or acidity. Sulfide rich and carbonate poor materials are expected to produce acidic drainage, and alkaline rich materials, even with significant sulfide concentrations, often produce net alkaline water. Mine drainages are dangerous because pollutants may decompose in the environment. In...

  18. Magnetites in acid mine drainage remediation

    Recently we have discovered a catalytic method of production of magnetites at low temperatures using stoichiometric quantities of iron salts. In addition, we have found that the presence of organic chelators can dramatically enhance or inhibit the removal of heavy metals using this technique. Our work with magnetite synthesis at below room temperature was initiated to meet the demand from the US Bureau of Reclamation for the remediation of heavy metals from the Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel effluent. They presently use a typical high pH treatment process and generate large quantities of sludge that requires extensive dewatering. The Bureau is interested in new cost effective technologies that meet their discharge levels and reduce sludge and the plant footprint. In a combined effort between Los Alamos National Laboratory and New Mexico State University, we are attempting to meet this challenge. Another aspect of our work is the examination of the effect of chelators on the removal of heavy metals from waters using an in-situ method of magnetite formation. Other researchers have used strong oxidants, such as permanganate, to chew up organics before forming magnetites. This was done in the belief that these chelators would inhibit the removal of heavy metals by tying them up and preventing their incorporation into the magnetite matrix. Although perfectly reasonable, in our attempts to quantify the extent of inhibition, we have found this premise to be somewhat simplistic. For example, with Pb2+, Cd2+ and Hg2+, we have found that the presence of chelators, such as EDTA, can either inhibit or enhance the removal efficiencies. In fact, with the appropriate selection of chelators we can chemically separate these three ions using magnetites. We have investigated this effect on several transition metal ions with a variety of chelators. The precise nature of this selectivity is under investigation in our laboratory. (authors)

  19. HANDBOOK FOR CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS RECEIVING ACID MINE DRAINAGE

    In the summer of 1987, a pilot constructed wetland was built at the Big Five Tunnel in Idaho Springs, Colorado. This report details the theory, design and construction of wetlands receiving acid mine drainages, based on the second and third year of operation of this wetland, whic...

  20. Coal acid mine drainage treatment using cement kiln dust

    Edgar Alberto Martínez; Jorge Iván Tobón; Juan Guillermo Morales

    2014-01-01

    Sulphurs are present in different rocks. During mining activities and the sulphur removal processes Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) may be produced, by sulphate ions (SO4 2-) in solution. AMDs are the main source of pollution from mining operations and in Colombia their discharge into natural bodies of water must comply with national environmental regulations (pH between 5 and 9). Cement Kiln Dust (CKD), with calcium carbonate as its main component, from a Cementos Argos S.A. plant was used to neutr...

  1. The Mining Environment Database on abandoned mines, acid mine drainage, and land reclamation

    Laurentian University Library has developed an on-line Mining Environment Database. The database provides references and abstracts to journal articles, books and government reports dealing with acid mine drainage, land reclamation, and abandoned mines. The database, created in 1988, now contains over 7,900 citations on reclamation planning, acid mine drainage, sulfide-based tailings, soil and water contamination, mine closure techniques, and other related topics dealing with mining environment studies. Subject coverage is international and focuses on hard rock mining topics. A stand-alone product for IBM-compatible computers is now available. The database is mastered on four high-density diskettes, and special search software is provided to allow full keyword searching of the database citations. Laurentian has acquired copies of all the materials cited in the database. Access to the on-line database is free of charge, with the exception of long-distance costs, and copy, delivery, or Fax charges for requested material. Suggestions for materials not found in the database and donations of pertinent research information from individuals, corporations, institutions, and government departments are welcomed. Private consulting reports (with the appropriate client approval) are especially welcomed, because this category of research literature cannot be purchased or obtained using normal methods, and is often discarded after a mine property is closed. The process of building a comprehensive research database requires a continuing partnership of information specialists and research users to develop a world class research literature database on mining environment and reclamation

  2. Acid mine-drainage problem of the Patoka River watershed

    Corbett, D.M.

    1969-10-01

    Of the 20,000 acres of cast overburden ground-water aquifers in Pike County, less than 4,000 acres produce acidic water. The remaining 16,000 acres produce nonacidic water, most of which is high in sulfate, and in some instances, high in chloride. The acid mine-drainage problem is a creation of past mining operations for coal, and not one of current origin as many have suspected. Most of the abandoned mine areas that produce sustained flows of acidic water, unaffected by storm runoff, are confined to disturbed areas. Acid contributions from storm runoff are usually many times greater than those from sustained flow, and most generally originate in the compacted 5 to 10% of the areas disturbed by surface mining that accelerate runoff. These compacted areas are essentially comprised of mine-waste piles, haulroads and abandoned railroad grades; open pits, and preparation plant and tipple areas. In the early 1950's several dams were constructed in the area forming lakes and reservoirs that ''bottled up'' the acidic water that would have essentially been discharged by gravity; consequently, the sustained flows from the area are still acidic, as is the water in the several lakes. It is not only impracticable but probably infeasible for the coal industry and society to correct the mine-drainage problem in the Patoka River Watershed without first removing the flushout menace. This flushout hazard can be effectively corrected through a well managed program of draining out the ''bottled up'' acidic water in lakes, ponds, and cast overburden in the areas and covering this material either with nontoxic landfill, or continual inundation with nonacidic water. Stabilization of acidic flows at a reduced level would make feasible the treatment of 5,000,000 gallons of water per day.

  3. OCHRE PRECIPITATES AND ACID MINE DRAINAGE IN A MINE ENVIRONMENT

    BRANISLAV MÁŠA

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper is focused to characterize the ochre precipitates and the mine water effluents of some old mine adits and settling pits after mining of polymetallic ores in Slovakia. It was shown that the mine water effluents from two different types of deposits (adits; settling pits have similar composition and represent slightly acidic sulphate water (pH in range 5.60-6.05, sulphate concentration from 1160 to 1905 g.dm-3. The ochreous precipitates were characterized by methods of X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD, scanning electron microscopy (SEM and B.E.T. method for measuring the specific surface area and porosity. The dominant phases were ferrihydrite with goethite or goethite with lepidocrocide.

  4. Acid mine drainage systems and metal pollution around the active polymetallic mines in the Eastern Macedonia

    Serafimovski, Todor; Dolenec, Tadej; Tasev, Goran; Dolenec, Matej; Rogan, Nastja

    2007-01-01

    The study of acid mine waters and drainage systems of certain poiymctallic and active mines in the Eastern Macedonia have shown that pH values are in the range 4.0 - 7.8 in the Bucim porphyry Cu-deposit, 4.8 - 5.1 in Pb-Zn mines Sasa and Toranica, and 3.4 - 5.1 in the Zletovo Pb-Zn mine. Both the underground and open pit mines drainage systems on a vertical scale are of several hundreds of meters (from surface to depth) and are affecting the adjacent waters with heavy metals. Determined metal...

  5. Geochemical characterisation of seepage and drainage water quality from two sulphide mine tailings impoundments: Acid mine drainage versus neutral mine drainage

    Heikkinen, P.M.; Raisanen, M.L.; Johnson, R.H.

    2009-01-01

    Seepage water and drainage water geochemistry (pH, EC, O2, redox, alkalinity, dissolved cations and trace metals, major anions, total element concentrations) were studied at two active sulphide mine tailings impoundments in Finland (the Hitura Ni mine and Luikonlahti Cu mine/talc processing plant). The data were used to assess the factors influencing tailings seepage quality and to identify constraints for water treatment. Changes in seepage water quality after equilibration with atmospheric conditions were evaluated based on geochemical modelling. At Luikonlahti, annual and seasonal changes were also studied. Seepage quality was largely influenced by the tailings mineralogy, and the serpentine-rich, low sulphide Hitura tailings produced neutral mine drainage with high Ni. In contrast, drainage from the high sulphide, multi-metal tailings of Luikonlahti represented typical acid mine drainage with elevated contents of Zn, Ni, Cu, and Co. Other factors affecting the seepage quality included weathering of the tailings along the seepage flow path, process water input, local hydrological settings, and structural changes in the tailings impoundment. Geochemical modelling showed that pH increased and some heavy metals were adsorbed to Fe precipitates after net alkaline waters equilibrated with the atmosphere. In the net acidic waters, pH decreased and no adsorption occurred. A combination of aerobic and anaerobic treatments is proposed for Hitura seepages to decrease the sulphate and metal loading. For Luikonlahti, prolonged monitoring of the seepage quality is suggested instead of treatment, since the water quality is still adjusting to recent modifications to the tailings impoundment.

  6. Acid mine drainage as an important mechanism of natural radiation enhancement in mining areas

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a world wide problem that occurs whenever sulfidic material is present in association to the mined ore. The acidic waters generated by the process of sulfide minerals oxidation can mobilize important amounts of pollutants and cause significant environmental impacts. The composition of the drainage will depend, on a very large extent, on the mineralogy of the rocks. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that acid mine drainage has the potential to enhance the natural levels of environmental radioactivity. The paper revises some strategies to be used in the diagnostic of the problem. General mathematical formulations that can assist on the prediction of the duration of the problem, and the definition of the size of the oxidizing zones in a waste dump are given. A study case on a waste dump of the Pocos de Caldas Uranium Mining Site, Brazil is also presented. (author)

  7. Microbial communities, processes and functions in acid mine drainage ecosystems.

    Chen, Lin-Xing; Huang, Li-Nan; Méndez-García, Celia; Kuang, Jia-Liang; Hua, Zheng-Shuang; Liu, Jun; Shu, Wen-Sheng

    2016-04-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is generated from the oxidative dissolution of metal sulfides when water and oxygen are available largely due to human mining activities. This process can be accelerated by indigenous microorganisms. In the last several decades, culture-dependent researches have uncovered and validated the roles of AMD microorganisms in metal sulfides oxidation and acid generation processes, and culture-independent studies have largely revealed the diversity and metabolic potentials and activities of AMD communities, leading towards a full understanding of the microbial diversity, functions and interactions in AMD ecosystems. This review describes the diversity of microorganisms and their functions in AMD ecosystems, and discusses their biotechnological applications in biomining and AMD bioremediation according to their capabilities. PMID:26921733

  8. Environmental geochemistry of acid mine drainage water at Indus coal mine at Lakhra, Sindh Pakistan

    The annual coal production of Pakistan is about 3,637, 825 tones which is about 6% of the country's energy resources, out of this 1,241, 965 tones of coal was produced/ mined from the Lakhra coal field, District Dadu, Sindh which after the Thar coal field is the second largest coal field of Pakistan. At this coal field more than 58 mining companies are engaged in exploring the hidden wealth of the country. The problem of acid mine drainage, is caused by the passage or seepage of water, through mines where iron disulfides, usually pyrites, are exposed to the oxidizing action of water, air and bacteria, is the main problem faced by the mining companies. The geochemical analysis of acid mine drainage water collected from Indus coal mine no. 6 shows that beside its higher pH, total Dissolved Solids and Sulfates, it also posses higher amount of heavy metals like Cd, Cu, Pb, Co, Ni and Fe. This acid mine drainage water not only damages the mine structures but is also harmful to soil and ecology. (author)

  9. Geochemical Processes Controlling the Generation and Environmental Impacts of Acid Mine Drainage in Semi Arid Conditions

    Magombedze, Chris

    2006-01-01

    This study evaluates the geochemical processes that control the geochemistry of acid mine drainage in semi arid conditions. The central objective is to characterise and understand the evolution of acid mine drainage and its potential environmental impacts on the Mazowe River sub-catchment, in north east Zimbabwe. The work is based on a case study at three neighbouring metal sulphide mines, namely Trojan Nickel Mine, Mazowe Gold Mine and Iron Duke Pyrites.The methodology used in this research ...

  10. Treatment of acid mine drainage and acidic effluents / by Marinda de Beer

    De Beer, Marinda

    2005-01-01

    The scarcity of water in South Africa is exacerbated by pollution of the surface- and ground- water resources. Typical pollutants of the aquatic environment include acid mine drainage and industrial effluents. AMD and acidic effluents can have detrimental effects on mining infrastructure, water reuse options and environmental discharge. As a result, some form of treatment is required at many mine sites. Unless treated, acid water cannot be discharged into public water courses. It ...

  11. Acid mine drainage biogeochemistry at Iron Mountain, California

    Gihring Thomas M

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available The Richmond Mine at Iron Mountain, Shasta County, California, USA provides an excellent opportunity to study the chemical and biological controls on acid mine drainage (AMD generation in situ, and to identify key factors controlling solution chemistry. Here we integrate four years of field-based geochemical data with 16S rRNA gene clone libraries and rRNA probe-based studies of microbial population structure, cultivation-based metabolic experiments, arsenopyrite surface colonization experiments, and results of intermediate sulfur species kinetics experiments to describe the Richmond Mine AMD system. Extremely acidic effluent (pH between 0.5 and 0.9 resulting from oxidation of approximately 1 × 105 to 2 × 105 moles pyrite/day contains up to 24 g/1 Fe, several g/1 Zn and hundreds of mg/l Cu. Geochemical conditions change markedly over time, and are reflected in changes in microbial populations. Molecular analyses of 232 small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA gene sequences from six sites during a sampling time when lower temperature (0.8 conditions predominated show the dominance of Fe-oxidizing prokaryotes such as Ferroplasma and Leptospirillum in the primary drainage communities. Leptospirillum group III accounts for the majority of Leptospirillum sequences, which we attribute to anomalous physical and geochemical regimes at that time. A couple of sites peripheral to the main drainage, "Red Pool" and a pyrite "Slump," were even higher in pH (>1 and the community compositions reflected this change in geochemical conditions. Several novel lineages were identified within the archaeal Thermoplasmatales order associated with the pyrite slump, and the Red Pool (pH 1.4 contained the only population of Acidithiobacillus. Relatively small populations of Sulfobacillus spp. and Acidithiobacillus caldus may metabolize elemental sulfur as an intermediate species in the oxidation of pyritic sulfide to sulfate. Experiments show that elemental sulfur which

  12. Acid mine drainage in Australia: its extent and potential future liability. Supervising Scientist Report 125

    In order to better understand the impact of acid drainage in Australia and to provide a basis for assessing long-term management options, the Office of the Supervising Scientist (OSS) and the Australian Centre for Minesite Rehabilitation Research (ACMRR) initiated this study to prepare a status report on acid mine drainage in Australia. The study is supported by the Minerals Council of Australia. The coverage of this study includes all mine sites where sulphidic oxidation in mine wastes or mine workings leads to the release of contaminated drainage with off-site impacts. The objectives of the study were: 1. to quantify and characterise the generation of contaminated drainage by sulphidic oxidation from historic and current mining activities in Australia; 2. to develop a classification scheme to characterise the potential for off-site impacts from sulphidic oxidation in mine wastes; 3. to compare the cost at the national level of managing sulphidic oxidation in mine wastes and any resulting contaminated drainage with other mining and environmental costs; 4. to make recommendations based on the information received to improve the understanding and management of acid mine drainage in Australia. Information was collected on the extent and management of sulphidic oxidation and acid drainage at operating, historic and derelict mines in Australia. Mining operators, environmental officers, industry representatives, state government departments and others were asked about their experience with acid mine drainage and how it is currently managed at operating and historic mine sites. Based on the information collected, the additional cost of managing potentially acid generating wastes at operating mine sites is estimated to be about AUD 60 million per year. Potentially, the financial risk could be much greater if sulphide oxidation and release of pollutants is discovered after mine closure, as was the case for historic sites like Mt Lyell, Rum Jungle or Mt Morgan. The

  13. Acid mine drainage in the Iberian Pyrite Belt: 2. Lessons learned from recent passive remediation experiences

    Ayora Ibáñez, Carlos; Caraballo, Manuel A.; Macías Suárez, Francisco; Roetting, Tobias Stefan; Carrera Ramírez, Jesús; Nieto Liñán, José Miguel

    2013-01-01

    The Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB), SW Spain and Portugal, contains about 100 abandoned mine wastes and galleries that release acid mine drainages (AMD) to the Tinto and Odiel rivers. In situ passive remediation technologies are especially suitable to remediate the drainages of these orphan sites. However, traditional remediation systems, designed for coal mines, have been demonstrated inefficient to treat the IPB mine waters. Due to their high acidity and metal loads, large amount of solids preci...

  14. Treatment and prevention systems for acid mine drainage and halogenated contaminants

    Jin, Song; Fallgren, Paul H.; Morris, Jeffrey M.

    2012-01-31

    Embodiments include treatments for acid mine drainage generation sources (10 perhaps by injection of at least one substrate (11) and biologically constructing a protective biofilm (13) on acid mine drainage generation source materials (14). Further embodiments include treatments for degradation of contaminated water environments (17) with substrates such as returned milk and the like.

  15. Development of a new methodology for mitigating acid mine drainage (AMD) at reclaimed surface mines

    A 1.2 hectare (ha) experimental site located on a 14.5 ha reclaimed surface mine in Greene County, PA was injected with a 141 cubic meters (m3) of fly ash and fluidized bed combustion (FBC) ash grout that included acid mine drainage (AMD) sludge. An evaluation of this AMD abatement approach by the Bureau of Mines found that the average net acidity and concentrations of several metal ions at the discharge seep and monitoring wells decreased after grouting. Changes in metal concentrations were assumed to be related to alkaline addition and/or encapsulation. Initial results indicate that this technique is potentially an effective AMD abatement method

  16. Modelling of acid mine drainage (AMD in columns

    C. M. Bernardes de Souza

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available A model is proposed in this paper to describe the generation of acid mine drainage (AMD in leaching columns. The model considers: (i Water flow through the column, which is calculated using the 1 - D analytic solution of the Richards' equation assuming the existence of a similarity relationship between the water retention function and the water content profiles at a given time; and (ii Pyrite oxidation weighted by microbiological effects occurring in spherical particles according to the shrinking core model. Mass balances of oxygen and pyrite were derived in order to evaluate the intrinsic oxidation rate and the pyrite fraction reacted with time and column position. The model was used to simulate a six month operation of a leaching column, which comprised successive weekly cycles of dry and wet periods. Simulation results demonstrated that AMD generation is strongly affected by the presence of microorganisms. A relative deviation of 5% between simulation and experimental data was obtained.

  17. Fly ash grouts for remediation of acid mine drainage

    An engineering investigation into the use of electric utility wastes for grouting acidic mine spoil resulting from coal extraction has been undertaken. Laboratory investigations into the physical and chemical properties of various grout mixtures and grouted spoil materials are underway. Grout mixtures are placed in columns and permeated with distilled water. The hydraulic conductivity of the grout was measured. The effect of the high alkaline ashes on the acidic drainage is of particular interest. This series of experiments provided information so that the most favorable grout (low hydraulic conductivity and high alkalinity) could be selected for injection into acidic spoil material. Both standard combustion and fluidized bed ashes were tested. Grout mixtures include ashes, scrubber sludge, lime, bentonite and/or kaolinite. Permeabilities of the mixtures averaged approximately 1.OE-4 cm/sec. A second series of laboratory experiments consists of grouting large diameter drums of acidic spoil with the fly ash grouts. The drums have been constructed and filled with acidic spoil material. The ungrouted infiltration rates have been determined and the resulting effluents chemically analyzed

  18. Uranium in acidic mine drainage at the former Ogoya Mine in Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan

    Uranium in acidic mine drainage from the former Ogoya Mine in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, and in neutral surface waters from its surrounding rivers was investigated from the viewpoint of radioactive disequilibrium in the uranium decay series. Water samples were periodically collected from the mine pithead and its surrounding rivers and their U isotopes (238U and 234U) were measured together with chemical components. The 238U concentrations in the water samples varied widely from 0.0036 to 0.78 mBq/L with a factor of about 200. High 238U concentrations were observed in the strongly acidic drainage (pH: around 3.5) from the pithead and the 234U/238U activity ratios showed significant values of as high as 10-15. By taking into account of the measurement of Th isotopes, it appeared that probable processes controlling the high 234U/238U activity ratios in acidic mine drainage were due to that the acidic water flowing from the mine pithead was formed only in the upper water layer of the pits and 234U was preferentially leached in the deeper underground water under the neutral and reducing conditions. (author)

  19. Acid mine drainage abatement resulting from pressure grouting of buried bituminous mine spoils

    A 37 acre surface coal mine located in Clinton County, PA, USA, was mined and reclaimed between 1974 and 1977. Buried pyrite-rich pit floor cleanings and tipple refuse were found to be producing severe acid mine drainage. The pyritic material is located in discrete piles or pods in the backfill. The pods and the resulting contaminant plumes were initially defined using geophysical techniques and confirmed by drilling. The approach taken was to use a cementitious grout, composed of fluidized bed combustion ash and water, which would be placed in a manner which would prevent water and oxygen from contacting the pyritic materials. Statistically significant water quality improvements have been noted as a result of the grouting. After four years of post-grouting monitoring, reductions in concentrations of most of the mine drainage parameters range from 40 to 90%. 12 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs

  20. Effectiveness of a constructed wetland for acid mine drainage reclamation

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) from an abandoned coal mine in southcentral Kentucky had pH levels as low as 2.5 and iron concentrations as high as 630 mg/L. In the summer of 1992, the SCS constructed a wetland system to treat the AMD that involved use of both physical and biological treatment. The AMD was fed into three anoxic limestone beds, followed by an aeration pond, before entering a series of four cattail cells and a polishing pond. Flow of AMD was initiated in the fall of 1992, and chemical and biological monitoring were conducted throughout the winter months. Chemical analysis of the water along the flow path of the AMD during the first six months of operation indicated that the limestone beds improved the pH substantially, and that most of the metals were removed prior to the water entering the cattail cells. The effectiveness of the wetland system to improve water quality also was monitored using the cladoceran (Ceriodaphnia dubia) survival and reproduction test. Determination of toxic levels indicated a substantial improvement in water quality below the limestone beds, and a slight decrease in toxicity throughout the cattail cells. However, toxic levels stayed the same or increased in the polishing pond. Water quality monitoring will continue through the growing season of 1993 to assess the impact of plant growth on the reclamation of the AMD

  1. Role of biologically assisted pyrrhotite oxidation in acid mine drainage

    Water contaminated by acidic mine drainage (AMD) from base metal tailings and waste rock is a serious environmental problem. Previous studies have focused on pyrite as the principal acid producing mineral. In this work, the significance of pyrrhotite (Fe1-xS) oxidation, both chemical and biochemical, on the acid generation process is discussed. Chemical and biochemical kinetic studies of pyrrhotite oxidation were conducted in pneumatically mixed, internal split flow reactors. Controlling variables included the specific surface area, temperature, pH, partial pressure of oxygen, and co-oxidation with pyrite. Bacterial oxidations, using Thiobacillus ferrooxidans as inoculant. included the inherent metabolic rate and cell sorption equilibria on the ore surface. Mathematical models were derived to couple the kinetics with oxygen mass transfer. The mass transport model combined mechanisms based on the shrinking radius (fine particles) and the shrinking reactive front (massive sulfides) concepts. The objective of the research was the application of fundamental kinetic and physical data to field conditions for simulating both the rate of mineral oxidation and simulating pore water quality

  2. Major hydrogeochemical processes in an Acid Mine Drainage affected estuary

    Highlights: • Mixing of acid riverine water with alkaline seawater was studied in an estuary. • Combination of data and geochemical tools allowed modeling the water mixing. • The main geochemical processes were identified and for the first time quantified. • Water chemistry is the result of mixing, dissolution-precipitation and sorption. • Main reactions: gypsum and calcite dissolution and Al and Fe solids precipitation. - Abstract: This study provides geochemical data with the aim of identifying and quantifying the main processes occurring in an Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) affected estuary. With that purpose, water samples of the Huelva estuary were collected during a tidal half-cycle and ion–ion plots and geochemical modeling were performed to obtain a general conceptual model. Modeling results indicated that the main processes responsible for the hydrochemical evolution of the waters are: (i) the mixing of acid fluvial water with alkaline ocean water; (ii) precipitation of Fe oxyhydroxysulfates (schwertmannite) and hydroxides (ferrihydrite); (iii) precipitation of Al hydroxysulfates (jurbanite) and hydroxides (amorphous Al(OH)3); (iv) dissolution of calcite; and (v) dissolution of gypsum. All these processes, thermodynamically feasible in the light of their calculated saturation states, were quantified by mass-balance calculations and validated by reaction-path calculations. In addition, sorption processes were deduced by the non-conservative behavior of some elements (e.g., Cu and Zn)

  3. Iron removal from acid mine drainage by wetlands

    Neutralization of acid mine drainage (AMD) in man-made cattail (Typha) wetlands was investigated over a four-year period utilizing experimental models constructed in a greenhouse. A naturally occurring AMD (430 mg/L Fe, 5 mg/L Mn, 2,900 mg/L sulfate, pH 2.75) was collected in the field and added to the greenhouse wetlands at 60.5 L/day. Monthly water samples from four depths (10, 20, 30, and 40 cm) were obtained from the influent, midpoint, and effluent locations of the wetland. During the first year of AMD treatment, near neutral pH (6.5) and anoxic conditions (minus300 mV) were observed in subsurface sediments of wetlands. The wetlands retained an estimated 65% of the total applied iron in the first year, primarily in the exchangeable, organically bound, and oxide form. During later years, 20 to 30% of the influent iron was retained predominantly as precipitated oxides. Iron sulfides resulting form sulfate reduction accounted for less than 5% of the iron retained, and were recovered primarily as monosulfides during the first year and as disulfides in the fourth year. Improvement in effluent pH was primarily attributed to limestone dissolution in the anaerobic subsurface sediments, which decreased with time. Constructed wetlands exhibit finite lives for effective AMD treatment and provisions should be made for their periodic rejuvenation or replacement

  4. Proceedings of the international land reclamation and mine drainage conference and third international conference on the abatement of acidic drainage. Volume 2: Mine drainage -- SP 06B-94

    Volume 2 of these proceedings is divided into six sessions: Mine drainage--Case studies (5 papers); Control of mine drainage--General (6); Control of mine drainage--Dry covers (6); Mine hydrology (6); a Poster session of miscellaneous papers (24); and a section of 59 abstracts. 78 papers dealing with or applicable to coal or uranium mining have been processed separately for inclusion on the data base

  5. Use of electric utility wastes for control of acid mine drainage

    Placement of fly ash in abandoned, reclaimed or active surface coal mines is intended to reduce the amount of acid mine drainage (AMD) produced. Water quality changes have been monitored at three surface mines where fly ash grout was injected after reclamation. Also, a laboratory column leaching study exposed samples of fly ash to AMS surrogates for 30 to 180 days. Changes in acidity and potential release of heavy metals were primary areas of interest. Both field and laboratory studies indicate that fly ash may be an economical reagent for ameliorating acid mine drainage without adverse environmental effects. 13 refs

  6. Acid Mine Drainage and Heavy Metal Pollution from Solid Waste in the Tongling Mines, China

    XU Xiaochun; XIE Qiaoqin; CHEN Fang; WANG Jun; WU Wentao

    2008-01-01

    Based on investigation of the characteristics of solid waste of two different mines, the Fenghuangshan copper mine and the Xinqiao pyrite mine in Tongling, Anhui province in central-east China, the possibility and the differences of acid mine drainage (AMD) of the tailings and the waste rocks are discussed, and the modes of occurrence of heavy metal elements in the mine solid waste are also studied. The Fenghuangshan copper mine hardly produces AMD, whereas the Xinqiao pyrite mine does and there are also differences in the modes of occurrence of heavy metal elements in the tailings. For the former, toxic heavy metals such as Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, As and Hg exist mostly in the slag mode, as compared to the latter, where the dcoxidization mode has a much higher content, indicating that large amounts minerals in the waste rocks have begun to oxidize at the earth surface. AMD is proved to promote the migration and spread of the heavy metals in mining waste rocks and lead to environmental pollution of the surroundings of the mine area.

  7. LABORATORY EVALUATION OF ZERO-VALENT IRON TO TREAT GROUNDWATER IMPACTED BY ACID MINE DRAINAGE

    The generation and release of acidic, metal-rich water from mine wastes continues to be an intractable environmental problem. Although the effects of acid mine drainage (AMD) are most evident in surface waters, there is an obvious need for developing cost-effective approaches fo...

  8. Injection of alkaline ashes into underground coal mines for acid mine drainage abatement

    The injection of alkaline coal combustion waste products into abandoned underground coal mines for acid mine drainage (AMD) abatement has obvious conceptual appeal. This paper summarizes the findings of the baseline hydrogeologic and water quality evaluations at two sites--one in West Virginia and one in Maryland--where field demonstrations of the technique are being pursued in cooperative efforts among State and Federal agencies and/or private companies. The West Virginia site produces severe AMD from three to seven AMD sources that are spaced over about a 1.2 km stretch of the down-dip side of the mine workings. By completely filling the most problematic portion of the mine workings with coal combustion ashes, the State expects that the costs and problems associated with AMD treatment will be greatly reduced. At the Maryland site, it is expected that the AMD from a relatively small target mine will be eliminated completely by filling the entire mine void with a grout composed of a mixture of fly ash, fluidized-bed combustion ash, and flue gas desulfurization sludge. This project will also demonstrate the potential cost-effectiveness of the technique at other sites, both for the purpose of AMD remediation and control of land subsidence

  9. Bioelectrochemical treatment of acid mine drainage dominated with iron

    Highlights: ► Treatment of AMD dominated with Fe is problematic due to its low pH. ► The goal of AMD treatment is pH increasing and Fe controlled removal. ► An MFC could fulfill both these requirements by treating AMD at the aerated cathode. ► The performance was proportional to the charge transfer up to 880 C. ► The treated AMD met the discharge limits both for Fe (>99% recovery) and pH (7.9). - Abstract: Treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD) dominated with iron (Fe), the most common metal, is a long-term expensive commitment, the goal of which is to increase the pH and remove Fe. In the present study, a proton exchange membrane microbial fuel cell (MFC) showed promise for the efficient treatment of an AMD dominated with ferric iron (pH 2.4 ± 0.1; 500 mg L−1 Fe3+). Briefly, Fe3+ was reduced to Fe2+ at the cathode of the MFC, followed by Fe2+ re-oxidation and precipitation as oxy(hydroxi)des. Oxygen reduction and cation transfer to the cathode of the MFC further caused a rise in pH. A linear relationship was observed between the charge transferred in the MFC and the performance of the system up to 880 C. Optimal conditions were found at a charge of 662 C, achieved within 7 d at an acetate concentration of 1.6 g L−1 in a membrane MFC. This caused the pH to rise to 7.9 and resulted in a Fe removal of 99%. Treated effluent met the pH discharge limits of 6.5–9. The maximum power generation achieved under these conditions averaged 8.6 ± 2.3 W m−3, which could help reduce the costs of full-scale bioelectrochemical treatment of AMD dominated with Fe.

  10. Injection of FGD Grout to Abate Acid Mine Drainage in Underground Coal Mines

    Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) from abandoned underground coal mines in Ohio is a concern for both residents and regulatory agencies. Effluent from these mines is typically characterized by low pH and high iron and sulfate concentrations and may contaminate local drinking-water supplies and streams. The objective of this project is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of injecting cementitious alkaline materials, such as Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) material to mitigate current adverse environmental impacts associated with AMD in a small, abandoned deep mine in Coshocton County Ohio. The Flue Gas Desulfurization material will be provided from American Electric Power's (AEP) Conesville Plant. It will be injected as a grout mix that will use Fixated Flue Gas Desulfurization material and water. The subject site for this study is located on the border of Coshocton and Muskingum Counties, Ohio, approximately 1.5 miles south-southwest of the town of Wills Creek. The study will be performed at an underground mine designated as Mm-127 in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources register, also known as the Roberts-Dawson Mine. The mine operated in the mid-1950s, during which approximately 2 million cubic feet of coal was removed. Effluent discharging from the abandoned mine entrances has low pH in the range of 2.8-3.0 that drains directly into Wills Creek Lake. The mine covers approximately 14.6 acres. It is estimated that 26,000 tons of FGD material will be provided from AEP's Conesville Power Plant located approximately 3 miles northwest of the subject site

  11. Historical overview and future directions of the microbial role in the acidic coal mine drainage system

    Bacteria have been implicated and analyzed at every step in the production of acidic coal mine drainage (AMD). This review paper provides detailed information about microbial studies in mines, laboratory settings, waste piles, ground water, receiving streams, and downstream rivers and lakes. Research on AMD treatment, beneficial uses, and seasonal variability is also reviewed. 102 refs

  12. Integrated acid mine drainage management using fly ash.

    Vadapalli, Viswanath R K; Gitari, Mugera W; Petrik, Leslie F; Etchebers, Olivier; Ellendt, Annabelle

    2012-01-01

    Fly Ash (FA) from a power station in South Africa was investigated to neutralise and remove contaminants from Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). After this primary treatment the insoluble FA residue namely solid residue (SR) was investigated as a suitable mine backfill material by means of strength testing. Moreover, SR was used to synthesise zeolite-P using a two-step synthesis procedure. Furthermore, the zeolite-P was investigated to polish process water from the primary FA-AMD reaction. The main objective of this series of investigations is to achieve zero waste and to propose an integrated AMD management using FA. Fly Ash was mixed with AMD at various predetermined FA-AMD ratios until the mixtures achieved circumneutral pH or higher. The supernatants were then analyzed using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and Ion Chromatography (IC) for cations and anions respectively. The physical strength testing of SR was carried out by mixing it with 3% Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and curing for 410 days. Synthesis of zeolite-P using SR was carried out by two step synthesis procedure: ageing for 24 hours followed by a mild hydrothermal synthesis at 100°C for 4 days. The polishing of process water from primary AMD treatment using FA was ascertained by mixing the process water with zeolite at a liquid to solid ratio of 100:1 for 1 hour. The results indicated that FA can be successfully used to ameliorate AMD. High removal of major AMD contaminants Fe, Al, Mg, Mn and sulphate was achieved with the ash treatment and trace elements such as Zn, Ni, Cu and Pb were also removed by the FA. Strength testing over 410 days indicated that the material gained strength over the testing period. The maximum unconfined compressive strength and elastic modulus was observed to be approximately 0.3 MPa and 150 Mpa respectively. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of the synthesized product indicated that SR was successfully converted into zeolite-P with some mullite phase

  13. Acid mine drainage from the Panasqueira mine and its influence on Zêzere river (Central Portugal)

    Candeias, Carla; Ávila, Paula Freire; Ferreira da Silva, Eduardo; Ferreira, Adelaide; Salgueiro, Ana Rita; Teixeira, João Paulo

    2014-11-01

    The Panasqueira hydrothermal mineralization, located in central Portugal, is the biggest Sn-W deposit of the Western Europe. The main evidences of the mining exploitation and ore treatment operations are testified with huge tailings, mainly, in the Rio and Barroca Grande areas. The mining and beneficiation processes, at the site, produces metal rich mine wastes. Oxidation of sulfides tailings and flow from open impoundments are responsible for the mobilization and migration of metals from the mine wastes into the environment. Acid mine drainage (AMD) discharged from Rio tailing has a pH around 3 and high metal concentrations. In Zêzere river, Fe and As are the most rapidly depleted downstream from AMD once As adsorbs, coprecipitate and form compounds with iron oxyhydroxides. The Zêzere river waters are oversaturated with respect to kaolinite and goethite and ferrihydrite can precipitate on stream with a near-neutral pH. At sites having low pH the dissolved Fe species in the water, mainly, occur as sulfate complexes due to a high SO4 concentration. Melanterite (Fe2+(SO4)·7(H2O)) and minor amounts of rozenite (Fe2+(SO4)·4(H2O)) and szomolnokite (Fe2+(SO4)·(H2O)) were observed on Rio tailing basement.

  14. Investigation of the acid mine drainage potential of the Kopanang rock dump, Vaal Reefs / Charl Labuschagne

    Labuschagne, Charl

    2008-01-01

    The Kopanang rock dump is one of several rock dumps in the Vaal Reefs gold mining area that may have an impact on the surface and groundwater quality. Few Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) studies exist on rock dumps in the South African gold industry due to the overwhelming acid generation from slime dams. Due to the existence of sulfide minerals in the Kopanang rock dump, there is a possibility that acid generation can occur, depending on the mineralogical composition of the ...

  15. Macroinvertebrate response to acid mine drainage: community metrics and on-line behavioural toxicity bioassay

    The hypothesis is tested that toxicity of acid mine drainage can be detected by a selection of existing macroinvertebrate community and bioindicator metrices supplemented by toxicity tests with the local mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki Girard and the shrimp Atyaephyra desmaresti Millet. The behavioural responses of A. desmaresti to acid mine drainage were recorded in the Multispecies Freshwater Biomonitor[reg], based on behaviour and survival as parameters. Bioassessment methods were based on community diversity, structure, function, and bioindicators and supplemented by chemical analysis (temperature, pH, metals). The Biological Monitoring Working Party adapted for the Iberian Peninsula, the number of predators (Coleoptera, Hemiptera) and the number of Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera taxa differentiated the sites well. The on-line toxicity test revealed pH-dependent acute toxicity of the acid mine drainage for the shrimp (LC50-48 h: pH-AMD=5.8) and a pH- dependent decrease in locomotory activity with the lowest-observed-response-times (LORTs) within 5 h of exposure. Shrimp were more sensitive to acid mine drainage than fish (LC50-48 h: pH-AMD=4.9). A new multimetric index combining toxicity testing and bioassessment methods is proposed. - Toxicity of acid mine drainage was evaluated by macroinvertebrate bioassessment and a new on-line rapid behavioural toxicity test with Atyaephyra desmaresti (Crustacea)

  16. Impact of acid mine drainages on surficial waters of an abandoned mining site.

    García-Lorenzo, M L; Marimón, J; Navarro-Hervás, M C; Pérez-Sirvent, C; Martínez-Sánchez, M J; Molina-Ruiz, José

    2016-04-01

    Weathering of sulphide minerals produces a great variety of efflorescences of soluble sulphate salts. These minerals play an important role for environmental pollution, since they can be either a sink or a source for acidity and trace elements. This paper aims to characterise surface waters affected by mining activities in the Sierra Minera of Cartagena-La Union (SE, Spain). Water samples were analysed for trace metals (Zn, Cd, Pb, Cu, As and Fe), major ions (Na(+), K(+), Ca(2+) and Mg(2+)) and anions (F(-), Cl(-), NO3 (-), CO3 (2-), SO4 (2-)) concentrations and were submitted to an "evaporation-precipitation" experiment that consisted in identifying the salts resulting from the evaporation of the water aliquots sampled onsite. Mineralogy of the salts was studied using X-ray diffraction and compared with the results of calculations using VISUAL MINTEQ. The study area is heavily polluted as a result of historical mining and processing activities that has produced large amount of wastes characterised by a high trace elements content, acidic pH and containing minerals resulting from the supergene alteration of the raw materials. The mineralogical study of the efflorescences obtained from waters shows that magnesium, zinc, iron and aluminium sulphates predominate in the acid mine drainage precipitates. Minerals of the hexahydrite group have been quantified together with minerals of the rozenite group, alunogen and other phases such as coquimbite and copiapite. Calcium sulphates correspond exclusively to gypsum. In a semiarid climate, such as that of the study area, these minerals contribute to understand the response of the system to episodic rainfall events. MINTEQ model could be used for the analysis of waters affected by mining activities but simulation of evaporation gives more realistic results considering that MINTEQ does not consider soluble hydrated salts. PMID:26347422

  17. Use of Natural and Applied Tracers to Guide Targeted Remediation Efforts in an Acid Mine Drainage System, Colorado Rockies, USA

    Rory Cowie; Williams, Mark W.; Mike Wireman; Robert L. Runkel

    2014-01-01

    Stream water quality in areas of the western United States continues to be degraded by acid mine drainage (AMD), a legacy of hard-rock mining. The Rico-Argentine Mine in southwestern Colorado consists of complex multiple-level mine workings connected to a drainage tunnel discharging AMD to passive treatment ponds that discharge to the Dolores River. The mine workings are excavated into the hillslope on either side of a tributary stream with workings passing directly under the stream channel. ...

  18. Remediation of acid mine drainage from the Santa Fe tin mine, Bolivia

    Calvo, Daniel; Zamora Echenique, Gerardo; Alfonso, Pura; Casado, Jordi; Trujillo, Elvys; Jiménez-Franco, Abigail; Garcia-Valles, Maite

    2015-04-01

    The Santa Fe mine, department of Oruro, is located in the Andean Tin belt, is exploited for tin, zinc, lead and silver. This in an underground mine mined up to the -108 level. Today it is only mined up to the -50 level. Under this level the table water covers the mine. Water reaches the surface with a very acidic composition, with a high content in potentially toxic elements. This water drains directly to the Santa Fe River and contribute to the pollution present in this river that directly affect to the aquatic communities. In addition, population of this area have problems in the supply of drinking water, so remediation by obtaining cleaning water is a priority for this area. This study presents a neutralization-precipitation treatment with lime to the acid water inside the mine. The ore mineralogy of the Santa Fe mined deposit consists mainly in cassiterite, pyrite, sphalerite, galena, arsenopyrite argentite and sulphosalts. The host mineral is mainly quartz, with a minor content in feldspars and tourmaline. Alteration minerals as alunite, goethite and pumbojarosite are abundant and indicate the occurrence of reactions that lead to the formation of acid mine drainage. The mean pH of water drained from the Santa Fe mine is 2.2 and chemical analyses show high contents in potentially toxic elements: 27-295 ppm Zn, 0.05-0.2 ppm Pb, 0.06-0.09 ppm Cd, 04-0.12 ppm Cu, 113-165 ppm Fe, 4 ppm Mn and 564-664 ppm S. As and Sb were under 0.5 ppm. A settler tank inside the mine was designed by means of seal a selected gallery to clean the mine water. The function of this gallery is to sediment the sludge resulting from the neutralization - precipitation treatment process to obtain a clear water overflow continuously to the outside. The neutralization tests indicate that 0.65g/L of lime and 2ml of flocculant should be added to neutralize water up to pH 6-7. A flow rate of 80 L /s was considered. After a geotechnical study, a chamber located in the mine was selected to locate

  19. Quality and quantity of the alkaline amendments needed to prevent acid mine drainage

    Control of acid mine drainage requires not only treatment of existing drainage but prevention of future acidic drainage. Waste rock exposed during coal mining and processing may contain up to 6% pyritic sulfur. These rocks may have little inherent neutralization capacity and appear to be very long lived acid generators. This paper summarizes recent research into the influence of additives to coal waste rock for the prevention of acidic mine drainage. Methods have been developed whereby additives can be evaluated using an extended acid-base accounting method and by Soxhlet extraction methods. The former method provides a means for gross determination of dose and the latter method provides some kinetic information on acid release. In addition to the evaluation of the effect of ameliorants on acidity, metal release has also been examined. Mass balances on sulfur, iron manganese and aluminum are used to discuss the nature of the treatment chemical reactions. The economics and efficacy of various treatment products (lime, combustion ash, kiln dust, and phosphate in particular) are discussed

  20. Integrative Bioassessment of Acid Mine Drainage Impacts on the Upper Powell River Watershed, Southwestern Virginia

    Soucek, David John

    2001-01-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD), a result of oxidation of minerals containing reduced forms of sulfur (pyrites, sulfides) upon exposure to water and oxygen, is an environmental problem associated with abandoned mined lands (AML). Numerous studies have documented the impacts of AMD upon aquatic communities within acidified stream reaches; these impacts include reduced taxonomic richness and abundance, and/or a shift from pollution sensitive to pollution tolerant species. This dissertation comprises ...

  1. REMOVAL OF NICKEL WITH ELEMENTAL IRON, WHICH IS COMMONLY FOUND IN ACID MINE DRAINAGE

    Maria A. Liendo; Carlos H. Sampaio; Gelsa E. Navarro

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the Ni2+ removal with commercial iron particles. That cation is often found in acid mine drainage (AMD), which is one of the most serious environmental problems in the mining industry that affects natural waters sources. Laboratory tests were performed with commercial iron and synthetic solutions containing Ni2+, to observe not only the kinetic of the removal but the equilibrium data as well. The obtained data showed that these followed the Langmuir adsor...

  2. COMPOST-FREE BIOREACTOR TREATMENT OF ACID ROCK DRAINAGE LEVIATHAN MINE, CALIFORNIA INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION REPORT

    As part of the Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) program, an evaluation of the compost-free bioreactor treatment of acid rock drainage (ARD) from the Aspen Seep was conducted at the Leviathan Mine Superfund site located in a remote, high altitude area of Alpine Co...

  3. Metal cycling during sediment early diagenesis in a water reservoir affected by acid mine drainage

    Torres, Ester; Ayora, Carlos; Canovas, C. R.;

    2013-01-01

    The discharge of acid mine drainage (AMD) into a reservoir may seriously affect the water quality. To investigate the metal transfer between the water and the sediment, three cores were collected from the Sancho Reservoir (Iberian Pyrite Belt, SW Spain) during different seasons: turnover event...

  4. TREATMENT OF ACID MINE DRAINAGE BY THE ALUMINA-LIME-SODA PROCESS

    The alumina-lime-soda process is a chemical desalination process for waters in which the principal sources of salinity are sulfate salts and has been field tested at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Acid Mine Drainage Research Facility, Hollywood, Pennsylvania, as a method to r...

  5. Metals Recovery from Acid Mine Drainage and Possibilities for their Utilization

    Michalková, E.; Schwarz, M.; Pulišová, Petra; Máša, B.; Sudovský, P.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 22, č. 4 (2013), s. 1111-1118. ISSN 1230-1485 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 7AMB12SK155 Institutional support: RVO:61388980 Keywords : acid mine drainage * ferric pigments * adsorbent Subject RIV: CA - Inorganic Chemistry Impact factor: 0.600, year: 2013

  6. A full-scale porous reactive wall for prevention of acid mine drainage

    The generation and release of acidic drainage containing high concentrations of dissolved metals from decommissioned mine wastes is an environmental problem of international scale. A potential solution to many acid drainage problems is the installation of permeable reactive walls into aquifers affected by drainage water derived from mine waste materials. A permeable reactive wall installed into an aquifer impacted by low-quality mine drainage waters was installed in August 1995 at the Nickel Rim mine site near Sudbury, Ontario. The reactive mixture, containing organic matter, was designed to promote bacterially mediated sulfate reduction and subsequent metal sulfide precipitation. The reactive wall is installed to an average depth of 12 feet (3.6 m) and is 49 feet (15 m) long perpendicular to ground water flow. The wall thickness (flow path length) is 13 feet (4 m). Initial results, collected nine months after installation, indicate that sulfate reduction and metal sulfide precipitation is occurring. The reactive wall has effectively removed the capacity of the ground water to generate acidity on discharge to the surface. Calculations based on comparison to previously run laboratory column experiments indicate that the reactive wall has potential to remain effective for at least 15 years

  7. BONE MEAL AS ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FOR ACIDIC AND METAL CONTAMINATED ACID MINE DRAINAGE WATER EFFLUENT: LAB SCALE

    Carolyn Payus; Olga David; Moh Pak Yan

    2014-01-01

    The typical methods of treatment for acidic and metal contaminated water effluent such as the Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) will always focus on either civil engineering methods, such as disposal, excavation, drainage and encapsulation or process based technologies such as effluent washing and treatment. These techniques are not environmental friendly, costly and unsustainable, thus environmental damaging. Nowadays, there is a growing need for an alternative remediation treatment that is innovativ...

  8. A review of acid drainage from waste rock dumps and mine sites (Australian and Scandinavia)

    This report reviews the literature from Australia and Scandinavia on acid drainage from pyritic waste rock dumps with an emphasis on measurements and theory of processes that control the rage of oxidation and the release of pollutants. Conditions within waste rock dumps have been measured at several mine sites and a range of rehabilitation treatments have been tried to reduce the release of pollutants. A number of models have been proposed to calculate air flow, water transport and geochemistry. The data and experience at the mine sites are compared with predictions of the models. Details of Australian and Swedish mine sites where waste rock is a source of acid drainage are described in the Appendices. 92 refs., 2 tabs., 10 figs

  9. Study of environmental pollution and mineralogical characterization of sediment rivers from Brazilian coal mining acid drainage

    Acid drainage from coal mines and metal mining is a major source of underground and surface water contamination in the world. The coal mining acid drainage (CMAD) from mine contains large amount of solids in suspension and a high content of sulphate and dissolved metals (Al, Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb, Fe, etc.) that finally are deposited in the rivers. Since this problem can persist for centuries after mine abandonment, it is necessary to apply multidisciplinary methods to determine the potential risk in a determinate area. These multidisciplinary methods must include molecular and elemental analysis and finally all information must be studied statistically. This methodology was used in the case of coal mining acid drainage from the Tubarao River (Santa Catarina, Brazil). During molecular analysis, Raman Spectroscopy, electron bean, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) have been proven very useful for the study of minerals present in sediment rivers near this CMAD. The obtained spectra allow the precise identification of the minerals as jarosite, quartz, clays, etc. The elemental analysis (Al, As, Fe, K, Na, Ba, Mg, Mn, Ti, V, Zn, Ag, Co, Li, Mo, Ni, Se, Sn, W, B, Cr, Cu, Pb and Sr) was realised by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Statistical analysis (Principal Component Analysis) of these dates of concentration reveals the existence of different groups of samples with specific pollution profiles in different areas of the Tubarao River. Highlights: ► Increasing coal drainage sediments geochemical information will increase human health information in this area. ► Brazilian coal mining information will increase recuperation planning information. ► The nanominerals showed strong sorption ability to aqueous hazardous elements

  10. Study of environmental pollution and mineralogical characterization of sediment rivers from Brazilian coal mining acid drainage

    Silva, Luis F.O., E-mail: felipeqma@hotmail.com [Environmental Science and Nanotechnology Department, Institute of Environmental Research and Human Development – IPADH, Capivari de Baixo, Santa Catarina (Brazil); Laboratory of Environmental Researches and Nanotechnology Development, Centro Universitário La Salle, Victor Barreto, 2288 Centro 92010-000, Canoas, RS (Brazil); Fdez- Ortiz de Vallejuelo, Silvia; Martinez-Arkarazo, Irantzu; Castro, Kepa [Department of Analytical Chemistry, University of the Basque Country (EHU/UPV), P.O. Box 644, 48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Oliveira, Marcos L.S. [Environmental Science and Nanotechnology Department, Institute of Environmental Research and Human Development – IPADH, Capivari de Baixo, Santa Catarina (Brazil); Sampaio, Carlos H.; Brum, Irineu A.S. de [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Escola de Engenharia, Departamento de Metalurgia, Centro de Tecnologia, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, Bairro Agronomia, CEP: 91501-970, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Leão, Felipe B. de; Taffarel, Silvio R. [Laboratory of Environmental Researches and Nanotechnology Development, Centro Universitário La Salle, Victor Barreto, 2288 Centro 92010-000, Canoas, RS (Brazil); Madariaga, Juan M. [Department of Analytical Chemistry, University of the Basque Country (EHU/UPV), P.O. Box 644, 48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain)

    2013-03-01

    Acid drainage from coal mines and metal mining is a major source of underground and surface water contamination in the world. The coal mining acid drainage (CMAD) from mine contains large amount of solids in suspension and a high content of sulphate and dissolved metals (Al, Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb, Fe, etc.) that finally are deposited in the rivers. Since this problem can persist for centuries after mine abandonment, it is necessary to apply multidisciplinary methods to determine the potential risk in a determinate area. These multidisciplinary methods must include molecular and elemental analysis and finally all information must be studied statistically. This methodology was used in the case of coal mining acid drainage from the Tubarao River (Santa Catarina, Brazil). During molecular analysis, Raman Spectroscopy, electron bean, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) have been proven very useful for the study of minerals present in sediment rivers near this CMAD. The obtained spectra allow the precise identification of the minerals as jarosite, quartz, clays, etc. The elemental analysis (Al, As, Fe, K, Na, Ba, Mg, Mn, Ti, V, Zn, Ag, Co, Li, Mo, Ni, Se, Sn, W, B, Cr, Cu, Pb and Sr) was realised by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Statistical analysis (Principal Component Analysis) of these dates of concentration reveals the existence of different groups of samples with specific pollution profiles in different areas of the Tubarao River. Highlights: ► Increasing coal drainage sediments geochemical information will increase human health information in this area. ► Brazilian coal mining information will increase recuperation planning information. ► The nanominerals showed strong sorption ability to aqueous hazardous elements.

  11. ROTATING DISC BIOLOGICAL TREATMENT OF ACID MINE DRAINAGE

    Pilot scale (0.5-m diameter) and prototype (2.0-m diameter) rotating biological contactors (RBC) were investigated for oxidation of ferrous Fe(II) iron contained in six heterogeneous mine waters located at three coal mining sites in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Continuous biol...

  12. Phycomicrobial ecology of acid mine drainage in the Piedmont of Virginia

    Krishnaswamy, R.; Hanger, R.A. [George Washington Univ., Washington, DC (United States). Dept. of Geology

    1998-12-31

    Acid mine drainage encompasses 18 km{sup 2} of Louisa County, Virginia. Heavy metal laden acidic leachate flows from abandoned mines along the Piedmont`s Gold-Pyrite Belt. The oxidation of pyrite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite and other sulfide minerals that are disseminated throughout the mine tailings release H{sub 2}SO{sub 4}, Fe, Cu, Zn, Ni, Cd, As, Pb and other heavy metals into the Contrary Creek watershed and beyond, into Lake Anna. Downstream of these abandoned pyrite mines, high levels of acidity and heavy metals have made this a severely stressed environment incapable of supporting a healthy creek ecosystem. In an effort to assess in-situ, bioaccumulatory remediation of acid mine drainage by phycomicrobial mats, surveys have been conducted for 11 months in Contrary Creek; several extremophiles that are tolerant of acid mine systems have been found. Twelve to thirteen genera of algae and a few cocci and bacilli have been identified in surface waters. Predominant genera include Ulothrix, Pinnularia and Oscillatoria. Preliminary results demonstrate that the phycomicrobial communities found in this acid mine system maintain density and species diversity independent of pH and heavy metal fluctuations. These extremophiles also demonstrate high potential for heavy metal sorption. Phycomicrobial mats bioaccumulate 60--70% more heavy metals than concentrations found in surface waters and the creek. To date, remediatory attempts to restore Contrary Creek have not been successful. Results suggest that the extremophile ecology found in this system will facilitate the remediation process of other, similar acid mine affected ecosystems.

  13. Diatoms as biomonitors in two temporary streams affected by acid drainage from disused mines

    Diatoms are increasingly used as biomonitors of water quality in Australia, partly as an extension of the AUSRIVAS concept and partly through the increasing emphasis on biological/ecological monitoring of stream health that is acknowledged in the Australian and New Zealand water quality guidelines (ANZECC and ARMCANZ, 2000). This work brings together the findings of three studies relating diatom populations to the water chemistry of two temporary streams affected by acid drainage. In the three studies reported, changes in the benthic diatom flora have been successfully used to: show the toxic effects of acid drainage from two mine sites; differentiate between nutrient and acid drainage pollution in a stream system affected by more than one pollutant and provide independent corroboration of the AQUARISK ecological risk assessment code

  14. Chemical evolution of coal mine drainage in a non-acid producing environment, Wasatch Plateau, Utah, USA

    Mayo, A. L.; Petersen, E. C.; Kravits, C.

    2000-09-01

    The causes and problems of coal mine drainage, particularly acid mine drainage, in the Eastern and Interior Coal Provinces of the United States are well documented. West of the Mississippi River, where coal mines account for about 45% of total US coal production and where acid mine drainage is rare, the chemical evolution of coal mine drainage is less well documented and understood. In this investigation, we have used solute and isotopic compositions of non-evolved inflow groundwater and evolved mine discharge water to quantify the chemical evolution of mine discharge water in a western underground coal mine. Water enters the mine from fractures and roof bolt holes, which intercept groundwater in the overlying rock. Carbon-14, and 3H data indicate that these waters recharged between 12,000 and 19,500 years ago. The TDS and solute compositions of roof drip waters are spatially zoned and TDS concentrations range from about 300 to 550 mg l -1. After the water encounters minerals and other substances in the mine, the chemical differences between various mine regions become more pronounced and the TDS of mine drainage water increases to about 850 mg l -1. The TDS of mine drainage is related to water-rock ratios. Mine drainage issuing from the older mined areas, where water-rock ratios are low, has the greatest TDS. Geochemical and isotopic mass balance calculations were performed to quantify chemical reactions in the mine, and to identify sources contributing to the TDS of mine drainage. Chemical reaction pathways evaluated include pyrite oxidation, dissolution of native and rock dust gypsum, dissolution of calcite and dolomite, precipitation of calcite, ion exchange, precipitation of iron hydroxide, and organic decomposition of mining machine emulsion fluid. Solute and isotopic mass transfer reaction calculations demonstrate that the oxidation of pyrite triggers a series of cascading in-mine chemical reactions that are the primary cause of the elevated TDS of mine

  15. Geochemical study of acid mine drainage of the Big Lick Tunnel area, Williamstown, PA

    Acid mine drainage in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania continues to be a significant environmental problem. This study examines the acid mine outflow from the Big Lick Tunnel, north of Williamstown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The tunnel drains abandoned mines on the north side of the Big Lick Mountain. Mining ceased in the area circa 1940, and the tunnel has been in operation since that time. The water, soil and stream bed sediment geochemistry has been studied to determine their changes in chemistry over distance. The pH, TDS and metal concentrations were the primary focus. Metal concentrations were determined using an ICP unit. Data indicates the pH of the outflow to range between 6.7 and 7.3 Fe and Mn concentrations are as high as 9.7 ppb. Extensive metal precipitation (''yellow boy'') occurs within the tunnel and for several hundred meters from the mouth of the tunnel. The combination of near neutral pH and high metal concentration suggest that the drainage is in contact with highly alkaline materials prior to discharge from the tunnel. The geology of the area does not suggest bedrock as the possible source of alkaline material. One hypothesis is that the acidic water is reacting with the concrete tunnel and being neutralized. Data also suggests that the Fe precipitates much quicker than the Mn, resulting in a zonation between Fe-rich and Mn-rich sediments along the length of the drainage

  16. Effects of acid mine drainage on southwestern Pennsylvania stream

    Moon, T.C.; Lucostic, C.M.

    1979-01-01

    Physicochemical parameters and benthic macroinvertebrate community structure were studied in a small valley stream in southwestern Pennsylvania, where the pH value below a coal mine effluent discharge was 5.8-7.0. The major factor affecting the benthic community seemed to be ferric hydroxide. Certain taxa were abundant at station sites above the mine discharge, while only those taxa tolerant of polluted conditions, such as Chironomidae and Tubifex, were prevalent at the downstream station sites. An analysis of benthic populations demonstrated environmental stress within the aquatic ecosystem.

  17. Metal release from fly ash upon leaching with sulfuric acid or acid mine drainage

    Generation of electricity by coal-fired power plants produces large quantities of bottom ash and fly ash. New power plants commonly use fluidized bed combustion (FBC) boilers, which create ashes with high neutralization potential (NP). These ashes, due to their alkaline nature, are often used in surface mine reclamation to neutralize acidity and reduce hydraulic conductivity of disturbed overburdens. Conventional fly ashes from older power plants exhibit a range of pH and NP, with some ashes having neutral or acidic pH and low NP values, and may not be good candidates for supplying alkalinity in reclamation projects. In this study, the authors used two acidic solutions to leach a low NP fly ash (LNP ash) and two FBC ashes (FBC1 and FBC2). After passing 78 pore volumes of sulfuric acid and 129 pore volumes of acid mine drainage (AMD) through these ash materials several trace elements were found at high levels in the leachates. LNP fly ash leachates had high arsenic and selenium concentrations with sulfuric acid leaching, but showed low arsenic and selenium concentrations after leaching with AMD. Leaching with AMD caused the iron and aluminum inherent in AMD to complex these elements and make them unavailable for leaching. Lead, cadmium, and barium concentrations in fly ash leachates were not high enough to cause water pollution problems with either leaching solution. For both leaching solutions, manganese was released from LNP ash at a constant level, FBC1 ash did not release manganese, and FBC2 ash released manganese only after the NP had been exhausted by >60 pore volumes of leaching

  18. The use of constructed wetlands in the treatment of acid mine drainage

    US government regulations require that all effluents from industrial operations, including mining, meet certain water quality standards. Constructed wetlands have proven to be useful in helping to attain those standards. Application of this biotechnology to mine water drainage can reduce water treatment costs and improve water quality in streams and rivers adversely affected by acidic mine water drainage from abandoned mines. Over 400 constructed wetland water treatment systems have been built on mined lands largely as a result of research by the US Bureau of Mines. Wetlands are passive biological treatment systems that are relatively inexpensive to construct and require minimal maintenance. Chemical treatment costs are reduced sufficiently to repay the cost of construction in less than a year. The mine waste water is typically treated in a series of excavated ponds that resemble small marsh areas. The ponds are engineered to facilitate bacterial oxidation of iron. Ideally, the water then flows through a composted organic substrate supporting a population of sulphate-reducing bacteria which raises the pH. Constructed wetlands in the USA are described - their history, functions, construction methodologies, applicabilities, limitations and costs. (author). 26 refs, 2 figs

  19. Benthic Communities of Low-Order Streams Affected by Acid Mine Drainages: A Case Study from Central Europe

    Marek Svitok; Milan Novikmec; Peter Bitušík; Branislav Máša; Jozef Oboňa; Miroslav Očadlík; Eva Michalková

    2014-01-01

    Only little attention has been paid to the impact of acid mine drainages (AMD) on aquatic ecosystems in Central Europe. In this study, we investigate the physico-chemical properties of low-order streams and the response of benthic invertebrates to AMD pollution in the Banská Štiavnica mining region (Slovakia). The studied streams showed typical signs of mine drainage pollution: higher conductivity, elevated iron, aluminum, zinc and copper loads and accumulations of ferric precipitates. Elect...

  20. Uniform particles formed by hydrolysis of acid mine drainage with urea

    Šubrt, Jan; Michalková, E.; Boháček, Jaroslav; Lukáč, Jozef; Gánovská, Z.; Máša, B.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 106, 1-2 (2011), s. 12-18. ISSN 0304-386X R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC523; GA MŠk(CZ) MEB0810136 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40320502 Keywords : acid mine drainage * urea hydrolysis * morphology * particles * surface area Subject RIV: CA - Inorganic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.027, year: 2011

  1. Mineralogy and acid-mine drainage of La Creusaz uranium prospect, Switzerland

    The hydrothermal uranium deposit La Creusaz is located in the Aiguilles Rouges massif in the Western Swiss Alps. Alpine metamorphism and Quaternary erosion and alteration affected this late Variscan deposit. Numerous neoformed U(VI) sulfates, comprising several new mineral species, result of acid mine drainage process. A study of U-migration in soil and plants suggest that the grass species Agrostis schraderiana is a bioaccumulator ideally suited for the decontamination of U-polluted sites in alpine regions. (author)

  2. Sediment-water interaction in a water reservoir affected by acid mine drainage : experimental and modeling

    Torres Sánchez, Ester

    2013-01-01

    The discharge of acid mine drainage into a water reservoir may seriously affect the water quality. In this setting, sediment is commonly thought to act as a sink for pollutants. However, redox oscillations in the bottom water promoted by stratification-turnover events may significantly alter the metal cycling. A new sequential extraction procedure has been developed to study the metal partitioning in the sediment. The new scheme for iron, sulfur and organic carbon rich sediments was evaluated...

  3. Macroinvertebrate community response to acid mine drainage in rivers of the High Andes (Bolivia)

    Several High Andes Rivers are characterized by inorganic water pollution known as acid mine drainage (AMD). The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between metal concentrations in the sediments and the macroinvertebrate communities in two river basins affected by AMD. In general, the taxon diversity of the macroinvertebrate community at the family level was low. The concentrations of Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb and Ni at mining sites were higher than at unpolluted sites. The pH of the water was alkaline (7.0-8.5) in unpolluted sites, whereas it dropped to very low values (<3) at mining sites. Redundancy Analysis (RDA) showed that pH was the best predictor of macroinvertebrate community richness. The number of macroinvertebrate families decreased gradually with increasing acidity, both in pools and riffles, though it is suggested that riffle communities were more affected because they are in closer contact with the acid water. - Community response to AMD

  4. Macroinvertebrate community response to acid mine drainage in rivers of the High Andes (Bolivia)

    Van Damme, Paul Andre [Asociacion Faunagua, Cochabamba (Bolivia, Plurinational State of); Centre of Limnology and Aquatic Resources, University of San Simon, Casilla 5263, Cochabamba (Bolivia, Plurinational State of); Hamel, Caroli; Ayala, Alfredo [Centre of Limnology and Aquatic Resources, University of San Simon, Casilla 5263, Cochabamba (Bolivia, Plurinational State of); Bervoets, Lieven [Laboratory for Ecophysiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium)], E-mail: lieven.bervoets@ua.ac.be

    2008-12-15

    Several High Andes Rivers are characterized by inorganic water pollution known as acid mine drainage (AMD). The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between metal concentrations in the sediments and the macroinvertebrate communities in two river basins affected by AMD. In general, the taxon diversity of the macroinvertebrate community at the family level was low. The concentrations of Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb and Ni at mining sites were higher than at unpolluted sites. The pH of the water was alkaline (7.0-8.5) in unpolluted sites, whereas it dropped to very low values (<3) at mining sites. Redundancy Analysis (RDA) showed that pH was the best predictor of macroinvertebrate community richness. The number of macroinvertebrate families decreased gradually with increasing acidity, both in pools and riffles, though it is suggested that riffle communities were more affected because they are in closer contact with the acid water. - Community response to AMD.

  5. Acid mine drainage treatment using by-products from quicklime manufacturing as neutralization chemicals.

    Tolonen, Emma-Tuulia; Sarpola, Arja; Hu, Tao; Rämö, Jaakko; Lassi, Ulla

    2014-12-01

    The aim of this research was to investigate whether by-products from quicklime manufacturing could be used instead of commercial quicklime (CaO) or hydrated lime (Ca(OH)2), which are traditionally used as neutralization chemicals in acid mine drainage treatment. Four by-products were studied and the results were compared with quicklime and hydrated lime. The studied by-products were partly burnt lime stored outdoors, partly burnt lime stored in a silo, kiln dust and a mixture of partly burnt lime stored outdoors and dolomite. Present application options for these by-products are limited and they are largely considered waste. Chemical precipitation experiments were performed with the jar test. All the studied by-products removed over 99% of Al, As, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Zn and approximately 60% of sulphate from acid mine drainage. However, the neutralization capacity of the by-products and thus the amount of by-product needed as well as the amount of sludge produced varied. The results indicated that two out of the four studied by-products could be used as an alternative to quicklime or hydrated lime for acid mine drainage treatment. PMID:25193795

  6. Microbial stratification in low pH oxic and suboxic macroscopic growths along an acid mine drainage

    Méndez-García, Celia; Mesa, Victoria; Sprenger, Richard Remko;

    2014-01-01

    Macroscopic growths at geographically separated acid mine drainages (AMDs) exhibit distinct populations. Yet, local heterogeneities are poorly understood. To gain novel mechanistic insights into this, we used OMICs tools to profile microbial populations coexisting in a single pyrite gallery AMD (...

  7. Behaviour of U-Isotopes in an Estuary Affected by Acid Mine Drainage and Industrial Releases

    Tinto and Odiel rivers (SW of Spain) is an ecosystem of great interest that is seriously affected by acid mine drainage (AMD) from long-term mining activities (pH < 3). Additionally, a large industrial complex is located in the surroundings of this estuary and Huelva town, which includes two phosphate rock processing plants that produce about 3 millions of tons per year of a byproduct called phosphogypsum (PG) containing high U-series radionuclides concentrations. For these reasons, the estuary of Huelva is one of the most heavy metals and radionuclides polluted estuarine systems in Europe with extremely low pH.

  8. Oxidative Precipitation of Manganese from Acid Mine Drainage by Potassium Permanganate

    Regeane M. Freitas; Perilli, Thomaz A. G.; Ladeira, Ana Claudia Q.

    2013-01-01

    Although oxidative precipitation by potassium permanganate is a widely recognised process for manganese removal, research dealing with highly contaminated acid mine drainage (AMD) has yet to be performed. The present study investigated the efficiency of KMnO4 in removing manganese from AMD effluents. Samples of AMD that originated from inactive uranium mine in Brazil were chemically characterised and treated by KMnO4 at pH 3.0, 5.0, and 7.0. Analyses by Raman spectroscopy and geochemical mode...

  9. Acid mine drainage and stream recovery: Effects of restoration on water quality, macroinvertebrates, and fish

    Williams K.M.; Turner A.M.

    2015-01-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a prominent threat to water quality in many of the world’s mining districts as it can severely degrade both the biological community and physical habitat of receiving streams. There are relatively few long-term studies investigating the ability of stream ecosystems to recover from AMD. Here we assess watershed scale recovery of a cold-water stream from pollution by AMD using a 1967 survey of the biological and chemical properties of the stream as a pre-restoration ...

  10. Iron-mineral accretion from acid mine drainage and its application in passive treatment

    Florence, K.; Sapsford, D.J.; Johnson, D.B.; Kay, C. M.; Wolkersdorfer, C.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT This study demonstrates substantial removal of iron (Fe) from acid mine drainage (pH ≈3) in a passive vertical flow reactor (VFR) with an equivalent footprint of 154 m2 per L/s mine water and residence times of >23 h. Average Fe removal rate was 67% with a high of 85% over the 10-month trial. The fraction of Fe passing a 0.22 µm filter (referred to here as Fe-filt) was seen to be removed in the VFR even when Fe(II) was absent, indicating that the contribution of microbial Fe(II) oxid...

  11. Interaction of trace elements in acid mine drainage solution with humic acid.

    Suteerapataranon, Siripat; Bouby, Muriel; Geckeis, Horst; Fanghänel, Thomas; Grudpan, Kate

    2006-06-01

    The release of metal ions from a coal mining tailing area, Lamphun, Northern Thailand, is studied by leaching tests. Considerable amounts of Mn, Fe, Al, Ni and Co are dissolved in both simulated rain water (pH 4) and 10 mg L(-1) humic acid (HA) solution (Aldrich humic acid, pH 7). Due to the presence of oxidizing pyrite and sulfide minerals, the pH in both leachates decreases down to approximately 3 combined with high sulfate concentrations typical to acid mine drainage (AMD) water composition. Interaction of the acidic leachates upon mixing with ground- and surface water containing natural organic matter is simulated by subsequent dilution (1:100; 1:200; 1:300; 1:500) with a 10 mg L(-1) HA solution (ionic strength: 10(-3) mol L(-1)). Combining asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation (AsFlFFF) with UV/Vis and ICP-MS detection allows for the investigation of metal ion interaction with HA colloid and colloid size evolution. Formation of colloid aggregates is observed by filtration and AsFlFFF depending on the degree of the dilution. While the average HA size is initially found to be 2 nm, metal-HA complexes are always found to be larger. Such observation is attributed to a metal induced HA agglomeration, which is found even at low coverage of HA functional groups with metal ions. Increasing the metal ion to HA ratio, the HA bound metal ions and the HA entities are growing in size from 450 nm. At high metal ion to HA ratios, precipitation of FeOOH phases and HA agglomeration due to colloid charge neutralization by complete saturation of HA complexing sites are responsible for the fact that most of Fe and Al precipitate and are found in a size fraction >450 nm. In the more diluted solutions, HA is more relevant as a carrier for metal ion mobilization. PMID:16631855

  12. Water Quality Based Design Guidelines for Successive Alkalinity-Producing Systems Used in the Treatment of Acidic Mine Drainage

    Jage, Christopher Raymond

    2000-01-01

    Water Quality Based Design Guidelines for Successive Alkalinity-Producing Systems Used in the Treatment of Acidic Mine Drainage by Christopher Raymond Jage Carl Zipper, Chair Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences (ABSTRACT) Successive Alkalinity-Producing Systems (SAPS) have proven to be a viable alternative to chemical treatment for renovating acidic mine drainage (AMD). The lack of water quality based design guidelines, however, is believed to be a cause of the variability...

  13. A continuous pilot-scale system using coal-mine drainage sludge to treat acid mine drainage contaminated with high concentrations of Pb, Zn, and other heavy metals

    Highlights: ► Coal mine drainage sludge can effectively neutralize and treat the acidic drainage for a long time. ► We suggest that the continuous pilot system having CMDS can not only high removal efficiencies, but also high total rates for all heavy metals. ► The pilot system can have a much higher Zn(II) loading rate than other referenced systems such as wetland coupled with algal mat and anoxic limestone drain. - Abstract: A series of pilot-scale tests were conducted with a continuous system composed of a stirring tank reactor, settling tank, and sand filter. In order to treat acidic drainage from a Pb–Zn mine containing high levels of heavy metals, the potential use of coal-mine drainage sludge (CMDS) was examined. The pilot-scale tests showed that CMDS could effectively neutralize the acidic drainage due to its high alkalinity production. A previous study revealed that calcite and goethite contained in CMDS contributed to dissolutive coprecipitation and complexation with heavy metals. The continuous system not only has high removal efficiencies (97.2–99.8%), but also large total rate constants (Ktotal, 0.21–10.18 h−1) for all heavy metals. More specifically, the pilot system has a much higher Zn(II) loading rate (45.3 g m−3 day−1) than other reference systems, such as aerobic wetland coupled with algal mats and anoxic limestone drains. The optimum conditions were found to be a CMDS loading of 280 g L−1 and a flow rate of 8 L day−1, and the necessary quantity of CMDS was 91.3 g L−1 day−1, as the replacement cycle of CMDS was determined to be 70 days.

  14. Bioremediation of acid mine drainage: an introduction to the Wheal Jane wetlands project.

    Whitehead, P G; Prior, H

    2005-02-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a widespread environmental problem associated with both working and abandoned mining operations. As part of an overall strategy to determine a long-term treatment option for AMD, a pilot passive treatment plant was constructed in 1994 at Wheal Jane Mine in Cornwall, UK. The plant consists of three separate systems; each containing aerobic reed beds, anaerobic cell and rock filters, and represents the largest European experimental facility of its kind. The systems only differ by the type of pre-treatment utilised to increase the pH of the influent minewater (pHsystems. The project has led to data, knowledge, models and design criteria for the future design, planning and sustainable management of passive treatment systems. A multidisciplinary team of scientists and managers from the U.K. universities, the Environment Agency and the Mining Industry has been put together to obtain the maximum advantage from the excellent facilities facility at Wheal Jane. PMID:15680623

  15. Plan for injection of coal combustion byproducts into the Omega Mine for the reduction of acid mine drainage

    The Omega Mine Complex is located outside of Morgantown, West Virginia. The mine is in the Upper Freeport Coal, an acid-producing coal seam. The coal was mined in a manner that has resulted in acid mine drainage (AMD) discharges at multiple points. During the 1990's, the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) assumed responsibility for operating a collection and treatment system for the AMD. Collection and treatment costs are approximately $300,000 per year. Injecting grout into the mine workings to reduce AMD (and thus reducing treatment costs) is proposed. The procedure involves injecting grout mixes composed primarily of coal combustion byproducts (CCB's) and water, with a small quantity of cement. The intention of the injection program is to fill the mine voids in the north lobe of the Omega Mine (an area where most of the acidity is believed to be generated) with the grout, thus reducing the contact of air and water with potentially acidic material. The grout mix design consists of an approximate 1:1 ratio of fly ash to byproducts from fluidized bed combustion. Approximately 100 gallons of water per cubic yard of grout is used to achieve flowability. Observation of the mine workings via subsurface borings and downhole video camera confirmed that first-mined areas were generally open while second-mined areas were generally partially collapsed. The injection program was developed to account for this by utilizing closer injection hole spacing in second-mined areas. Construction began in January 1998, with grout injection expected to commence in mid-April 1998

  16. CCB-based encapsulation of pyrite for remediation of acid mine drainage.

    Bulusu, Sowmya; Aydilek, Ahmet H; Rustagi, Neha

    2007-05-17

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) from abandoned coal mines continues to be one of the most significant environmental problems. Remediation of AMD requires an addition of lime source to decrease the acidity, and grouting the entire mine and encapsulating the pyrite by calcium-rich additives is often employed. Utilization of alkaline coal combustion by-products (CCBs) has gained acceptance in such remediation applications because of their cost-effectiveness. A study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of CCBs to abate acid mine drainage by encapsulation of pyrite. Geomechanical, hydraulic, and environmental tests were performed on grouts prepared with various ratios of CCBs as well as an alternative free lime source, lime kiln dust (LKD). The results indicated that the mechanical properties of grouts were dependent on their free lime contents. Hydraulic conductivities of pyrite-grout columns were relatively high due to the coating of the pyrite rock with the grout rather than the filling of all of the void spaces, as commonly experienced in field applications. The leaching tests indicated that the presence of high amounts of lime in a grout is not solely sufficient to improve the quality of AMD, since the rate of dissolution of a high lime content grout may be slow due to its rapid hardening. Therefore, it is recommended that grouts be selected with consideration of their hardening capacities, as well as the percentage of lime content present in the mixture. PMID:17303328

  17. Fe biogeochemistry in reclaimed acid mine drainage precipitates—Implications for phytoremediation

    At a 50-year-old coal mine drainage barrens in central Pennsylvania, USA, we evaluated the biogeochemistry of acidic, Fe(III)oxy(hydr)oxide precipitates in reclaimed plots and compared them to untreated precipitates in control areas. Reclaimed plots supported successional vegetation that became established after a one-time compost and lime treatment in 2006, while control plots supported biological crusts. Precipitates were sampled from moist yet unsaturated surface layers in an area with lateral subsurface flow of mine drainage above a fragipan. Fe(II) concentrations were three- to five-fold higher in reclaimed than control precipitates. Organically bound Fe and amorphous iron oxides, as fractions of total Fe, were also higher in reclaimed than control precipitates. Estimates of Fe-reducing and Fe-oxidizing bacteria were four- to tenfold higher in root-adherent than both types of control precipitates. By scaling up measurements from experimental plots, total Fe losses during the 5-yr following reclamation were estimated at 45 t Fe ha−1 yr−1. -- Highlights: • Reclaimed AMD precipitates contained more Fe(II) and organically bound Fe than control precipitates. • Fe(II) concentrations were positively correlated with organic C and Fe-reducing microbes. • Vegetative reclamation of AMD precipitates can mobilize Fe in hydrologically sensitive areas. -- Rooting zones of reclaimed acid mine drainage precipitates had higher Fe(II) and organically bound Fe than precipitates at lower depths and in unreclaimed control areas

  18. Policy for metal leaching and acid rock drainage at mine sites in British Columbia

    One of the major environmental issues facing the provincial government of British Columbia is the prevention of environmental impacts from metal leaching and acid rock drainage (ML/ARD). The government's major challenge in regulating ML/ARD is to ensure that all mines are planned and operated in a manner that allows for effective problem detection and mitigation, and that the mines emphasize problem prevention at the outset. This paper reviews the legislated requirements regarding ML/ARD prevention and lists guiding principles for the regulation of ML/ARD in the province. Some of the measures to predict and to mitigate ML/ARD include underwater storage of problematic materials, engineered covers, blending of wastes and drainage collection and treatment. Requirements applicable to construction materials, backfill, geotechnical and hydrological considerations, and security of funds for ML/ARD measures are also discussed

  19. Application of nanofiltration to the treatment of acid mine drainage waters

    This study investigated the separation of uranium and other elements in high concentrations from acid mine waters at Caldas Uranium Mining, in the southeast of Brazil, using nanofiltration membranes. Nanofiltrarion is widely used in water treatment due to the lower energy requirements and higher yields than reverse osmosis. Separation characteristics are dependent on both the molecular size and charge of the dissolved species in the feed solution as well as membrane properties. In this investigation the potential of nanofiltration to removed dissolved species like uranium from acid mine water drainage was measured. Two composite aromatic polyamide commercially membranes of FilmTec/Dow were tested and it found that uranium rejections of greater than 90% and also showed potential for the separation of aluminum and manganese. (author)

  20. Roles of Benthic Algae in the Structure, Function, and Assessment of Stream Ecosystems Affected by Acid Mine Drainage

    Tens of thousands of stream kilometers around the world are degraded by a legacy of environmental impacts and acid mine drainage (AMD) caused by abandoned underground and surface mines, piles of discarded coal wastes, and tailings. Increased acidity, high concentrations of metals...

  1. Acid mine drainage arising from gold mining activity in Johannesburg, South Africa and environs

    Ground water within the mining district is heavily contaminated and acidified. - The Witwatersrand region of South Africa is famous for its gold production and a major conurbation, centred on Johannesburg, has developed as a result of mining activity. A study was undertaken of surface and ground water in a drainage system in this area. Soils were also analysed from a site within the mining district. This study revealed that the ground water within the mining district is heavily contaminated and acidified as a result of oxidation of pyrite (FeS2) contained within mine tailings dumps, and has elevated concentrations of heavy metals. Where the water table is close to surface, the upper 20 cm of soil profiles are severely contaminated by heavy metals due to capillary rise and evaporation of the ground water. The polluted ground water is discharging into streams in the area and contributes up to 20% of stream discharge, causing a lowering of pH of the stream water. Much of the metal load is precipitated in the stream: Fe and Mn precipitate as a consequence of oxidation, while other heavy metals are being removed by co-precipitation. The oxidation of iron has created a redox buffer which controls the pH of the stream water. The rate of oxidation and of dilution is slow and the deleterious effect of the addition of contaminated water persists for more than 10 km beyond the source

  2. Electrochemical treatment of acidic aqueous ferrous sulfate and copper sulfate as models for acid mine drainage.

    Bunce, N J; Chartrand, M; Keech, P

    2001-12-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a serious environmental problem in the mining industry. The present work describes electrolytic reduction of solutions of synthetic AMD, comprising FeSO4/H2SO4 and CuSO4/H2SO4, in flow-through cells whose anode and cathode compartments were separated using ion exchange membranes. In the case of FeSO4/H2SO4 at constant flow rate, the pH of the effluent from the catholyte increased progressively with current at a variety of cathodes, due to electrolytic reduction of H+ ions to elemental hydrogen. Near-quantitative removal of iron was achieved by sparging air into the catholyte effluent, thereby precipitating iron outside the electrochemical cell, and avoiding fouling of the electrodes. The anode reaction was the oxidation of water to O2, a proton-releasing process. Using cation exchange membranes and sodium sulfate as the supporting electrolyte in the anode compartment, the efficiency of the process was compromised at high currents by transport of H+ competitively with Na+ from the anode to the cathode compartments. Higher efficiencies were obtained when anion exchange membranes were used, and in this case no additional supporting electrolyte other than dilute H2SO4 was needed, the net reaction being the electrochemically driven transfer of the elements of H2SO4 from the cathode to the anode compartments. Current efficiencies approximately 50% were achieved, the loss of efficiency being accounted for by ohmic heating of the solutions. In the case of CuSO4/H2SO4 and anion exchange membranes at high currents, reduction of Cu2+ and H+ ions and transport of SO4(2-) ions out of the catholyte caused unacceptably high potentials to be generated. PMID:11763043

  3. Flue gas desulfurization by-product weathering by acidic mine drainage

    The authors examined the suitability using a flue gas desulfurization grout (FGDG) for the attenuation and abatement of acidic mine drainage (AMD). The FGDG used was a mixture of fly ash (FA) and filter cake (FC) with a FA/FC ratio of 1:1 to improve handling. Five percent of lime (CaO) was added to improve strength development and allow the use of this FGDG as a hydrologic seal for underground mines. Acidic mine drainage solutions collect from wells located within mine voids were reacted with samples of FGDG for up to 168 d, to evaluate the potential for grout dissolution subsequent to subterranean implacement. Shortly upon reaction with AMD, FGDG released a number of ions into solution (As, B, Ca, K, Na, Se, SO4), a concomitant with a rapid increase in solution pH (8.5), causing decreases in the solubility of most cations (Al, Fe, Mn, Zn). Significant increases in dissolved As and B concentrations were noted. Both elements were present in solution at levels below respective regulatory limits for drinking water. Of the original quantities of As and B present in FGDG, 1.3 and 45.6%, respectively, were released to solution over a 168-d reaction period. Concomitant with changes in solution composition, reaction of FGDG with AMD resulted in a loss of ettringite and hannebachgite and a growth of gypsum. Additional changes in mineralogy were observed as FGDG equilibrated with AMD solutions. From these reactions, the long-term stability of FGDG in underground acidic mine environments is questionable and warrants study in situ

  4. Biochemical process for the removal of uranium from acid mine drainages

    A biochemical process has been assessed with a view to removing heavy metals from acid mine drainages in which the metal cation removed is accumulated in situ as insoluble metal phosphate on the surface of Citrobacter N 14 cells (Roig et al., 1995). The localized presence of inorganic phosphate (Pi) is brought about via the hydrolysis of a ''donor'' organic phosphate added to the solution of metals with precipitation as MHPO4 bound to the cells. The present work explores the potential of immobilized Citrobacter biomass for the recovery of uranium from the acid drainage waters of the ''Faith'' mine exploited by ENUSA (Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca). A physicochemical characterization of the acid waste-water from ENUSA was carried out and flow injection analysis methods for the determination of uranium and Pi in such water were developed and improved. The efficiencies of chemical precipitation (by the addition of Pi to the acid water) with regard to bioinsolubilization (supplementing the water with an organic phosphate that is (later) hydrolysed to Pi) were investigated and compared. Additionally, the efficiency of chemical and biochemical precipitation as phosphates of uranium present in ENUSA acid drainage water were assessed. Furthermore, the relative importance of chemical precipitation (by the addition of Pi to the acid water) with regard to bioinsolubilization (supplementing the water with an organic phosphate that is (later) hydrolysed to Pi plus alcohol) was established. To do so, a series of mass balances for chemical precipitation and for bioinsolubilization of the metal phosphate was performed. Once the efficiency of the bioprocess as regards the removal of uranium when glycerol-2-phosphate is used as a substrate had been determined, a major question was forthcoming: the search for an efficient and much more economical substrate for the process. In this sense, sodium tripolyphosphate, one of the main components of many formulations of commercial detergents

  5. Interaction of acid mine drainage with waters and sediments of West Squaw Creek in the West Shasta Mining District, California

    Filipek, L.H.; Kirk, Nordstrom D.; Ficklin, W.H.

    1987-01-01

    Acid mine drainage has acidified large volumes of water and added high concentrations of dissolved heavy metals to West Squaw Creek, a California stream draining igneous rocks of low acid-neutralizing capacity. During mixing of the acid sulfate stream waters in the South Fork of West Squaw Creek with an almost equal volume of dilute uncontaminated water, Cu, Zn, Mn, and Al remained in solution rather than precipitating or adsorbing on solid phases. Changes in the concentration of these generally conservative metals could be used to determine relative flow volumes of acid tributaries and the main stream. An amorphous orange precipitate (probably ferric hydroxides or a mixture of ferric hydroxides and jarosite) was ubiquitous in the acid stream beds and was intimately associated with algae at the most acid sites. Relative sorption of cations decreased with decreasing water pH. However, arsenic was almost completely scavenged from solution within a short distance from the sulfide sources.

  6. Acid mine drainage mitigation using bulk blended fly ash/coal refuse mixtures: Column study results

    Many Appalachian coal refuse materials contain significant amounts of pyritic-S and are likely to produce acid mine drainage (AMD). A column technique was designed and implemented to evaluate the effects of various AMD mitigation treatments including fly ash, topsoil, lime, and rock-P. Two types of fly ash were tested, one at four rates of application, the other at two rates. Conventional lime plus topsoil, lime without topsoil, topsoil only, topsoil with fly ash, rock-P, rock-P plus topsoil, and rock-P plus fly ash were also evaluated and compared with pure refuse controls. The drainage from the unamended columns rapidly dropped to pH 2 with very high levels of Fe and Mn. Alkaline fly ash dramatically reduced drainage Fe concentrations as well as Mn when compared with untreated refuse. The rock-P treatment also improved drainage but eventually lost its mitigation capability. Leachate B concentrations were initially high for some of the ash columns, but decreased over time, while the unamended refuse B levels increased with time. Combined treatments of phosphate/ash, ash/topsoil, and pure refuse with topsoil were intermediate between the alkaline ash/lime treatments and unamended refuse in drainage quality. With further analysis, fly ash may prove to be a viable alternative to conventional topsoiling/lime treatments to control AMD if adequate alkalinity is present in the ash/refuse mixture. If fly ash alkalinity is inadequate to balance potential acidity, accelerated leaching of ash bound metals may occur. Therefore, the uncontrolled disposal of fly ash within coal refuse disposal facilities should be discouraged unless acid/base balance concerns are met

  7. Study of waste rock piles producing acid drainage in the Brazilian first uranium mine

    Oliveira, Alexandre P. de; Rey-Silva, Daniela V.F.M.; Barreto, Rodrigo P., E-mail: apolivei@cnen.gov.b [Brazilian National Commission for Nuclear Energy (LAPOC/CNEN-MG), Pocos de Caldas, MG (Brazil). Pocos de Caldas Lab.; Souza-Santos, Marcio L. de, E-mail: dss@fem.unicamp.b [University of Campinas (UNICAMP), SP (Brazil). Faculty of Mechanical Engineering; Veronesi, Luciano da S., E-mail: lsv61@hotmail.co [Catholic University of Pocos de Caldas (PUC-PCaldas), MG (Brazil). Civil Engineering Dept.

    2009-07-01

    The Uranium Mine and Milling Facility located in the Pocos de Caldas Plateau stopped operating since mid-1990's and remediation actions for the mine areas are going to take place in the near future. However, environmental concerns should be addressed such as acid mine drainage (AMD) in the waste rock piles (WRPs), pit mine, and tailing dam, all driven by pyrite oxidation reactions. The AMD process leaches both heavy metals and radionuclides pollutants through the soil. This work shows the methodology applied for the determination of chemical species leaching from WRP4 as well the generation of acid waters. An experimental setup has been assembled to determine the acidity of water in contact with samples of material from the WRP4. Results are presented along a list of chemical species found in the remaining water. That is followed by discussions regarding its pH and chemical composition measured during the experiments. It has been observed that not only water and available oxygen are significant to the pyrite oxidation reaction, but also bacterial activity. This last effect should be addressed in the near future. Moreover, various important aspects regarding the experimental setup were noticed and are addressed as propositions for the continuation of the present work. (author)

  8. Study of waste rock piles producing acid drainage in the Brazilian first uranium mine

    The Uranium Mine and Milling Facility located in the Pocos de Caldas Plateau stopped operating since mid-1990's and remediation actions for the mine areas are going to take place in the near future. However, environmental concerns should be addressed such as acid mine drainage (AMD) in the waste rock piles (WRPs), pit mine, and tailing dam, all driven by pyrite oxidation reactions. The AMD process leaches both heavy metals and radionuclides pollutants through the soil. This work shows the methodology applied for the determination of chemical species leaching from WRP4 as well the generation of acid waters. An experimental setup has been assembled to determine the acidity of water in contact with samples of material from the WRP4. Results are presented along a list of chemical species found in the remaining water. That is followed by discussions regarding its pH and chemical composition measured during the experiments. It has been observed that not only water and available oxygen are significant to the pyrite oxidation reaction, but also bacterial activity. This last effect should be addressed in the near future. Moreover, various important aspects regarding the experimental setup were noticed and are addressed as propositions for the continuation of the present work. (author)

  9. Sulfate reduction at low pH to remediate acid mine drainage

    Sánchez-Andrea, Irene, E-mail: irene.sanchezandrea@wur.nl [Departamento de Biología Molecular, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid (Spain); Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Dreijenplein 10, 6703 HB Wageningen (Netherlands); Sanz, Jose Luis [Departamento de Biología Molecular, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid (Spain); Bijmans, Martijn F.M. [Wetsus, Centre of Sustainable Water Technology, P.O. Box 1113, 8900 CC Leeuwarden (Netherlands); Stams, Alfons J.M. [Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Dreijenplein 10, 6703 HB Wageningen (Netherlands); IBB – Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga (Portugal)

    2014-03-01

    Highlights: • Acid mine drainage (AMD) is an important environmental concern. • Remediation through biological sulfate reduction and metal recovery can be applied for AMD. • Microbial community composition has a major impact on the performance of bioreactors to treat AMD. • Acidophilic SRB are strongly influenced by proton, sulfide and organic acids concentration. - Abstract: Industrial activities and the natural oxidation of metallic sulfide-ores produce sulfate-rich waters with low pH and high heavy metals content, generally termed acid mine drainage (AMD). This is of great environmental concern as some heavy metals are highly toxic. Within a number of possibilities, biological treatment applying sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is an attractive option to treat AMD and to recover metals. The process produces alkalinity, neutralizing the AMD simultaneously. The sulfide that is produced reacts with the metal in solution and precipitates them as metal sulfides. Here, important factors for biotechnological application of SRB such as the inocula, the pH of the process, the substrates and the reactor design are discussed. Microbial communities of sulfidogenic reactors treating AMD which comprise fermentative-, acetogenic- and SRB as well as methanogenic archaea are reviewed.

  10. Sulfate reduction at low pH to remediate acid mine drainage

    Highlights: • Acid mine drainage (AMD) is an important environmental concern. • Remediation through biological sulfate reduction and metal recovery can be applied for AMD. • Microbial community composition has a major impact on the performance of bioreactors to treat AMD. • Acidophilic SRB are strongly influenced by proton, sulfide and organic acids concentration. - Abstract: Industrial activities and the natural oxidation of metallic sulfide-ores produce sulfate-rich waters with low pH and high heavy metals content, generally termed acid mine drainage (AMD). This is of great environmental concern as some heavy metals are highly toxic. Within a number of possibilities, biological treatment applying sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is an attractive option to treat AMD and to recover metals. The process produces alkalinity, neutralizing the AMD simultaneously. The sulfide that is produced reacts with the metal in solution and precipitates them as metal sulfides. Here, important factors for biotechnological application of SRB such as the inocula, the pH of the process, the substrates and the reactor design are discussed. Microbial communities of sulfidogenic reactors treating AMD which comprise fermentative-, acetogenic- and SRB as well as methanogenic archaea are reviewed

  11. Water table lowering to improve excavation performance and to reduce acid mine drainage

    This paper analyses the water table level fluctuations using wells located adjacent to the stripping cuts at the Butia-Leste coal mine, southernmost of Brazil. Piezometers monitored the water table fluctuations. Geological mapping provided additional information aiding the interpretation of the results. A contouring software was also used as tool to aid the interpretation of the data and the results visualisation. The parameters necessary in selecting the location of the wells and pumping volumes were calculated from the data obtained in the water table lowering tests. The results were used to minimise two main problems: the generation of acid mine drainage and the reduction of the excavation performance of the fleet used in overburden removal. 7 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs

  12. Evolution of sulfide oxidation and attenuation mechanisms controlling acid mine drainage in decommissioned low-sulfide tailings

    Parviainen, Annika

    2012-01-01

    Environmental hazards derived from mining have been a major concern worldwide in the past years. Understanding of the consequences of malpractice in waste management and the lack of aftercare is crucial to the sustainability of the future mining industry. Mineralogical and geochemical studies are key to predicting the generation of acid mine drainage (AMD) and to evaluating the stability of a tailings system at an advanced stage of weathering. Site-specific data also assist in selecting the r...

  13. Monitoring the Extent of Contamination from Acid Mine Drainage in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Spain) Using Hyperspectral Imagery

    Asuncion Riaza; Andreas Müller; Veronique Carrère; Eduardo García-Meléndez; Jorge Buzzi

    2011-01-01

    Monitoring mine waste from sulfide deposits by hyperspectral remote sensing can be used to predict surface water quality by quantitatively estimating acid drainage and metal contamination on a yearly basis. In addition, analysis of the mineralogy of surface crusts rich in soluble salts can provide a record of annual humidity and temperature. In fact, temporal monitoring of salt efflorescence from mine wastes at a mine site in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (Huelva, Spain) has been achieved using hyp...

  14. Geochemical processes controlling fate and transport of arsenic in acid mine drainage (AMD) and natural systems.

    Cheng, Hefa; Hu, Yuanan; Luo, Jian; Xu, Bin; Zhao, Jianfu

    2009-06-15

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is often accompanied with elevated concentrations of arsenic, in the forms of arsenite, As(III), and/or arsenate, As(V), due to the high affinity of arsenic for sulfide mineral ores. This review summarizes the major geochemical processes controlling the release, speciation, fate, and distribution of inorganic arsenic in mine drainage and natural systems. Arsenic speciation depends highly on redox potential and pH of the solution, and arsenite can be oxidized to the less toxic arsenate form. Homogeneous oxidation of arsenite occurs rather slowly while its heterogeneous oxidation on mineral surfaces can greatly enhance the reaction rates. Little evidence suggests that precipitation reaction limits the concentrations of arsenic in natural water, while co-precipitation may lead to rapid arsenic removal when large amount of iron hydroxides precipitate out of the aqueous phase upon neutralization of the mine drainage. Both arsenate and arsenite adsorb on common metal oxides and clay minerals through formation of inner-sphere and/or outer-sphere complexes, controlling arsenic concentration in natural water bodies. Arsenite adsorbs less strongly than arsenate in the typical pH range of natural water and is more mobile. Part of the adsorbed arsenic species can be exchanged by common anions (e.g., PO(4)(3-) and SO(4)(2-)), especially phosphate, which leads to their re-mobilization. Understanding the geochemistry of arsenic is helpful for predicting its mobility and fate in AMD and natural systems, and for designing of cost-effective remediation/treatment strategies to reduce the occurrence and risk of arsenic contamination. PMID:19070955

  15. Hydrochemistry, mineralogy and sulfur isotope geochemistry of acid mine drainage at the Mt. Morgan mine environment, Queensland, Australia

    Mineralogical, hydrochemical and S isotope data were used to constrain hydrogeochemical processes that produce acid mine drainage from sulfidic waste at the historic Mount Morgan Au-Cu mine, and the factors controlling the concentration of SO4 and environmentally hazardous metals in the nearby Dee River in Queensland, Australia. Some highly contaminated acid waters, with metal contents up to hundreds of orders of magnitude greater than the Australia-New Zealand environmental standards, by-pass the water management system at the site and drain into the adjacent Dee River. Mine drainage precipitates at Mt. Morgan were classified into 4 major groups and were identified as hydrous sulfates and hydroxides of Fe and Al with various contents of other metals. These minerals contain adsorbed or mineralogically bound metals that are released into the water system after rainfall events. Sulfate in open pit water and collection sumps generally has a narrow range of S isotope compositions (δ 34S = 1.8-3.7%o) that is comparable to the orebody sulfides and makes S isotopes useful for tracing SO4 back to its source. The higher δ 34S values for No. 2 Mill Diesel sump may be attributed to a difference in the source. Dissolved SO4 in the river above the mine influence and 20 km downstream show distinctive heavier isotope compositions (δ 34S = 5.4-6.8%o). The Dee River downstream of the mine is enriched in 34S (δ 34S = 2.8-5.4%o) compared with mine drainage possibly as a result of bacterial SO4 reduction in the weir pools, and in the water bodies within the river channel. The SO4 and metals attenuate downstream by a combination of dilution with the receiving waters, SO4 reduction, and the precipitation of Fe and Al sulfates and hydroxides. It is suggested here that in subtropical Queensland, with distinct wet and dry seasons, temporary reducing environments in the river play an important role in S isotope systematics

  16. The geochemistry of rare earth elements (REE) in acid mine drainage from the Sitai coal mine, Shanxi Province, North China

    In this paper, geochemical characteristics of rare earth elements (REE) in acid mine drainage (AMD) from the Sitai coal mine of Shanxi Province, North China were investigated by determining concentrations of dissolved REEs and major solutes in the AMD samples, concentrations of REEs in the AMD precipitate samples and country rock samples (mudstone and coal), and modeling REEs species in the AMD. The results show that AMD in the Sitai coal mine have high REEs and SO42- concentrations in comparison with several terrestrial waters worldwide. The REE speciation modeling indicates that sulfate complexes (LnSO4+, > 60%) and free metal species (Ln3+, 20%-40%) are dominant REEs species in the AMD. AMD of the Sitai coal mine also shows a middle REE-enriched NASC (North American Shale Composite)-normalized pattern. The authors suggest that both REE sulfates (LnSO4+) in the AMD and country rock of coal measures are possible reasons for middle REE-enriched NASC-normalized pattern of the Sitai coal mine AMD. Further work on the AMD precipitates is needed to obtain more information on the origin of the middle REE-enriched NASC-normalized patterns. (author)

  17. Synthesising acid mine drainage to maintain and exploit indigenous mining micro-algae and microbial assemblies for biotreatment investigations.

    Orandi, Sanaz; Lewis, David M

    2013-02-01

    The stringent regulations for discharging acid mine drainage (AMD) has led to increased attention on traditional or emerging treatment technologies to establish efficient and sustainable management for mine effluents. To assess new technologies, laboratory investigations on AMD treatment are necessary requiring a consistent supply of AMD with a stable composition, thus limiting environmental variability and uncertainty during controlled experiments. Additionally, biotreatment systems using live cells, particularly micro-algae, require appropriate nutrient availability. Synthetic AMD (Syn-AMD) meets these requirements. However, to date, most of the reported Syn-AMDs are composed of only a few selected heavy metals without considering the complexity of actual AMD. In this study, AMD was synthesised based on the typical AMD characteristics from a copper mine where biotreatment is being considered using indigenous AMD algal-microbes. Major cations (Ca, Na, Cu, Zn, Mg, Mn and Ni), trace metals (Al, Fe, Ag, Na, Co, Mo, Pb and Cr), essential nutrients (N, P and C) and high SO(4) were incorporated into the Syn-AMD. This paper presents the preparation of chemically complex Syn-AMD and the challenges associated with combining metal salts of varying solubility that is not restricted to one particular mine site. The general approach reported and the particular reagents used can produce alternative Syn-AMD with varying compositions. The successful growth of indigenous AMD algal-microbes in the Syn-AMD demonstrated its applicability as appropriate generic media for cultivation and maintenance of mining microorganisms for future biotreatment studies. PMID:22684898

  18. Impact of acid mine drainage from mining exploitations on the Margajita River basin and the Hatillo reservoir (Dominican Republic)

    Mining of the Pueblo Viejo high-sulphidation epithermal deposit (Dominican Republic) leads to environmental impact due to the formation of acid mine drainage associated with the oxidative dissolution of sulphides and sulpho salts. In addition to the very low pH, the acid waters are capable of transporting away from the mining areas high concentrations of metals and metalloids in solution. In the present work, a geochemical study of sediments deposited in the Hatillo reservoir is carried out. This reservoir is fed by the Margajita and Yuna streams which transport leachates from the Pueblo Viejo and Falcondo-Bonao (Cr-Ni) mining areas, respectively. The results show that these sediments have very high concentrations of Fe, Al and sulphate, along with significant amounts of As, Zn and Te, which are of especial environmental concern. The main contributor to this metal discharge into the reservoir is the Margajita stream, whereas the Yuna stream does not transport significant amounts of metals in solution due to its neutral pH, although it is likely that metals such as Mn, Cr, Ni and Co can be mobilised as a particulate. (Author) 5 refs.

  19. Selective recovery of Cu, Zn, and Ni from acid mine drainage.

    Park, Sang-Min; Yoo, Jong-Chan; Ji, Sang-Woo; Yang, Jung-Seok; Baek, Kitae

    2013-12-01

    In Korea, the heavy metal pollution from about 1,000 abandoned mines has been a serious environmental issue. Especially, the surface waters, groundwaters, and soils around mines have been contaminated by heavy metals originating from acid mine drainage (AMD) and mine tailings. So far, AMD was considered as a waste stream to be treated to prevent environmental pollutions; however, the stream contains mainly Fe and Al and valuable metals such as Ni, Zn, and Cu. In this study, Visual MINTEQ simulation was carried out to investigate the speciation of heavy metals as functions of pH and neutralizing agents. Based on the simulation, selective pH values were determined to form hydroxide or carbonate precipitates of Cu, Zn, and Ni. Experiments based on the simulation results show that the recovery yield of Zn and Cu were 91 and 94 %, respectively, in a binary mixture of Cu and Zn, while 95 % of Cu and 94 % of Ni were recovered in a binary mixture of Cu and Ni. However, the recovery yield and purity of Zn and Ni were very low because of similar characteristics of Zn and Ni. Therefore, the mixture of Cu and Zn or Cu and Ni could be recovered by selective precipitation via pH adjustment; however, it is impossible to recover selectively Zn and Ni in the mixture of them. PMID:23754100

  20. Bio-Remediation of Acid Mine Drainage in the Sarcheshmeh Porphyry Copper Mine by Fungi: Batch and Fixed Bed Process

    Hanieh Soleimanifar

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Acid mine drainage (AMD containing high concentrations of iron and sulphate, low pH and variableconcentrations of heavy metals leads to many environmental problems. The concentrations of Cu and Mnare high in the AMD of the Sarcheshmeh porphyry copper mine, Kerman province, south of Iran. In thisstudy, the bio-remediation of Cu and Mn ions from acid mine drainage was investigated using two nativefungi called Aspergillus niger and Phanerochaete chrysosporium which were extracted from the soil andsediment samples of the Shour River at the Sarcheshmeh mine. The live fungi was first harvested andthen killed by boiling in 0.5 N NaOH solution. The biomass was finally dried at 60 C for 24 h andpowdered. The optimum biosorption parameters including pH, temperature, the amount of biosorbent andcontact time were determined in a batch system. The optimum pH varied between 5 and 6. It was foundthat the biosorption process increased with an increase in temperature and the amount of biosorbent.Biosorption data were attempted by Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models and showed a good match.Kinetic studies were also carried out in the present study. The results show that the second-order kineticsmodel fits well the experimental data. The biosorption experiments were further investigated with acontinuous system to compare the biosorption capacities of two systems. The results show thatbiosorption process using a continuous system increases efficiency up to 99%. A desorption process waseventually performed in order to recover Copper and Manganese ions. This process was successful andfungi could be used again.

  1. Applications of multi-season hyperspectral remote sensing for acid mine water characterization and mapping of secondary iron minerals associated with acid mine drainage

    Davies, Gwendolyn E.

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) resulting from the oxidation of sulfides in mine waste is a major environmental issue facing the mining industry today. Open pit mines, tailings ponds, ore stockpiles, and waste rock dumps can all be significant sources of pollution, primarily heavy metals. These large mining-induced footprints are often located across vast geographic expanses and are difficult to access. With the continuing advancement of imaging satellites, remote sensing may provide a useful monitoring tool for pit lake water quality and the rapid assessment of abandoned mine sites. This study explored the applications of laboratory spectroscopy and multi-season hyperspectral remote sensing for environmental monitoring of mine waste environments. Laboratory spectral experiments were first performed on acid mine waters and synthetic ferric iron solutions to identify and isolate the unique spectral properties of mine waters. These spectral characterizations were then applied to airborne hyperspectral imagery for identification of poor water quality in AMD ponds at the Leviathan Mine Superfund site, CA. Finally, imagery varying in temporal and spatial resolutions were used to identify changes in mineralogy over weathering overburden piles and on dry AMD pond liner surfaces at the Leviathan Mine. Results show the utility of hyperspectral remote sensing for monitoring a diverse range of surfaces associated with AMD.

  2. Use of natural and applied tracers to guide targeted remediation efforts in an acid mine drainage system, Colorado Rockies, USA

    Cowie, Rory; Williams, Mark W.; Wireman, Mike; Runkel, Robert L.

    2014-01-01

    Stream water quality in areas of the western United States continues to be degraded by acid mine drainage (AMD), a legacy of hard-rock mining. The Rico-Argentine Mine in southwestern Colorado consists of complex multiple-level mine workings connected to a drainage tunnel discharging AMD to passive treatment ponds that discharge to the Dolores River. The mine workings are excavated into the hillslope on either side of a tributary stream with workings passing directly under the stream channel. There is a need to define hydrologic connections between surface water, groundwater, and mine workings to understand the source of both water and contaminants in the drainage tunnel discharge. Source identification will allow targeted remediation strategies to be developed. To identify hydrologic connections we employed a combination of natural and applied tracers including isotopes, ionic tracers, and fluorescent dyes. Stable water isotopes (δ18O/δD) show a well-mixed hydrological system, while tritium levels in mine waters indicate a fast flow-through system with mean residence times of years not decades or longer. Addition of multiple independent tracers indicated that water is traveling through mine workings with minimal obstructions. The results from a simultaneous salt and dye tracer application demonstrated that both tracer types can be successfully used in acidic mine water conditions.

  3. Use of Natural and Applied Tracers to Guide Targeted Remediation Efforts in an Acid Mine Drainage System, Colorado Rockies, USA

    Rory Cowie

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Stream water quality in areas of the western United States continues to be degraded by acid mine drainage (AMD, a legacy of hard-rock mining. The Rico-Argentine Mine in southwestern Colorado consists of complex multiple-level mine workings connected to a drainage tunnel discharging AMD to passive treatment ponds that discharge to the Dolores River. The mine workings are excavated into the hillslope on either side of a tributary stream with workings passing directly under the stream channel. There is a need to define hydrologic connections between surface water, groundwater, and mine workings to understand the source of both water and contaminants in the drainage tunnel discharge. Source identification will allow targeted remediation strategies to be developed. To identify hydrologic connections we employed a combination of natural and applied tracers including isotopes, ionic tracers, and fluorescent dyes. Stable water isotopes (δ18O/δD show a well-mixed hydrological system, while tritium levels in mine waters indicate a fast flow-through system with mean residence times of years not decades or longer. Addition of multiple independent tracers indicated that water is traveling through mine workings with minimal obstructions. The results from a simultaneous salt and dye tracer application demonstrated that both tracer types can be successfully used in acidic mine water conditions.

  4. Solubility relationships of aluminium and iron minerals associated with acid mine drainage

    The ability to properly manage the oxidation of pyritic minerals and associated acid mine drainage is dependent upon understanding the chemistry of the disposal environment. One accepted disposal method is placing pyritic-containing materials in the groundwater environment. The objective of this study was to examine solubility relationships of Al and Fe minerals associated with pyritic waste disposed in a low leaching aerobic saturated environment. Two eastern oil shales were used in this oxidizing equilibration study, a New Albany Shale (unweathered, 4.6 percent pyrite), and a Chattanooga Shale (weathered, 1.5 percent pyrite). Oil shale samples were equilibrated with distilled-deionized water from 1 to 180 d with a 1:1 solid-to-solution ratio. The suspensions were filtered and the clear filtrates were analyzed for total cations and anions. Ion activities were calculated from total concentrations. Below pH 6.0, depending upon SO42- activity, Al3+ solubility was controlled by AlOHSO4 (solid phase) for both shales. The results of this study indicate that below pH 6.0, Al3+ and Fe3+ solubilities, are limited by basic Al and Fe sulfate solid phases (AlOHSO4(s) and FeHSO4(s)). The results from this study further indicate that the acidity in oil shale waters is produced from the hydrolysis of Al3+ and Fe3+ activities in solution. These results indicate a fundamental change in the stoichiometric equations used to predict acidity from iron sulfide oxidation. The results of this study also indicate that water quality predictions associated with acid mine drainage can be based on fundamental thermodynamic relationships. As a result, waste management decisions can be based on waste-specific/site test methods

  5. Humic substances increase survival of freshwater shrimp Caridina sp. D to acid mine drainage.

    Holland, Aleicia; Duivenvoorden, Leo J; Kinnear, Susan H W

    2013-02-01

    Humic substances (HS) are known to decrease the toxicity of heavy metals to aquatic organisms, and it has been suggested that they can provide buffering protection in low pH conditions. Despite this, little is known about the ability for HS to increase survival to acid mine drainage (AMD). In this study, the ability of HS to increase survival of the freshwater shrimp (Caridina sp. D sensu Page et al. in Biol Lett 1:139-142, 2005) to acid mine drainage was investigated using test waters collected from the Mount Morgan open pit in Central Queensland with the addition of Aldrich humic acid (AHA). The AMD water from the Mount Morgan open pit is highly acidic (pH 2.67) as well as contaminated with heavy metals (1780 mg/L aluminum, 101 mg/L copper [Cu], 173 mg/L manganese, 51.8 mg/L zinc [Zn], and 51.8 mg/L iron). Freshwater shrimp were exposed to dilutions in the range of 0.5 % to 5 % AMD water with and without the addition of 10 or 20 mg/L AHA. In the absence of HS, all shrimp died in the 2.5 % AMD treatment. In contrast, addition of HS increased survival in the 2.5 % AMD treatment by ≤66 % as well as significantly decreased the concentration of dissolved Cu, cobalt, cadmium, and Zn. The decreased toxicity of AMD in the presence of HS is likely to be due to complexation and precipitation of heavy metals with the HS; it is also possible that HS caused changes to the physiological condition of the shrimp, thus increasing their survival. These results are valuable in contributing to an improved understanding of potential role of HS in ameliorating the toxicity of AMD environments. PMID:23135152

  6. Effects of acid mine drainage on a headwater stream ecosystem in Colorado

    The ecological effects of acid mine drainage were investigated during the summer of 1993 on St. Kevin Gulch, a headwater stream near Leadville, Colorado. The stream currently receives acidic water from an abandoned mine. The pH downstream of the mine is between 3.5 and 4.5, and several metals exceed concentrations toxic to aquatic organisms. Zinc is present at especially high concentrations (1 to 10 mg/L) Furthermore, the stream bottom is covered with a thick layer of iron hydroxide precipitates. Effects on stream biota have been dramatic. Aquatic flora in the affected reach is limited to a green filamentous alga, Ulothrix subtilissima. Macroinvertebrate densities are significantly lower in the affected reach (mean = 99 indiv/m2; SD = 88 indiv/M2) compared to an upstream (pristine) reference reach (mean = 1,735 indiv/m2; SD = 652 indiv/M2). Functional processes were also studied in the stream. Net primary production (NPP) was measured during midday with recirculating chambers. Production was significantly lower in the affected reach (mean NPP 13.3 MgO2hr-1m-2; SD = 87 MgO2hr-1m-2) than the upstream reference reach (NPP = 64.1 MgO2hr-1m-2; SD = 27.7 MgO2hr-1m-2). Decomposition, measured with litter bags, was also lower in the affected reach than the upstream site. In 1994, St. Kevin Gulch is scheduled to undergo remediation that will treat the acidic water from the mine. Further studies on this stream will provide information on the recovery processes in lotic ecosystems

  7. Efficacy assessment of acid mine drainage treatment with coal mining waste using Allium cepa L. as a bioindicator.

    Geremias, Reginaldo; Bortolotto, Tiago; Wilhelm-Filho, Danilo; Pedrosa, Rozangela Curi; de Fávere, Valfredo Tadeu

    2012-05-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD) with calcinated coal mining waste using Allium cepa L. as a bioindicator. The pH values and the concentrations of aluminum, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and sulfate were determined before and after the treatment of the AMD with calcinated coal mining waste. Allium cepa L. was exposed to untreated and treated AMD, as well as to mineral water as a negative control (NC). At the end of the exposure period, the inhibition of root growth was measured and the mean effective concentration (EC(50)) was determined. Oxidative stress biomarkers such as lipid peroxidation (TBARS), protein carbonyls (PC), catalase activity (CAT) and reduced glutathione levels (GSH) in the fleshy leaves of the bulb, as well as the DNA damage index (ID) in meristematic cells, were evaluated. The results indicated that the AMD treatment with calcinated coal mining waste resulted in an increase in the pH and an expressive removal of aluminum, iron, manganese and zinc. A high sub-chronic toxicity was observed when Allium cepa L. was exposed to the untreated AMD. However, after the treatment no toxicity was detected. Levels of TBARS and PC, CAT activity and the DNA damage index were significantly increased (Ptreatment and biomonitoring of these types of environmental contaminants. PMID:22239909

  8. Impact of Acid Mine Drainage on the hydrogeological system at Sia, Cyprus

    Ng, Stephen; Malpas, John

    2013-04-01

    Discontinued mining of the volcanogenic massive sulphide ore bodies of Cyprus has left significant environmental concerns including Acid Mine Drainage. Remnant sulphide ore and tailings in waste dumps react with oxygenated rainwater to produce sulphuric acid, a process which is multiplied when metal-loving acidophilic bacteria are present. Given that Cyprus has a Mediterranean climate, characterized by its warm and dry summers and cool and wet winters, the low pH effluent with high levels of trace elements, particularly metals, is leached out of the waste tips particularly during the wet season. The Sia site includes an open mine-pit lake, waste rock and tailings dumps, a river leading to a downstream dam-lake, and a localised groundwater system. The study intends to: identify the point source and nature of contamination; analyze the mechanism and results of local acid generation; and understand how the hydrogeological system responds to seasonal variations. During two sampling campaigns, in the wet and dry seasons of 2011, water samples were collected from the mine pit lake, from upstream of the adjacent river down to the dam catchment, and from various boreholes close to the sulphide mine. The concentration of ions in waters varies between wet and dry seasons but, in both, relative amounts are directly related to pH. In the mine-pit lake, Fe, Mn, Mg, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, Co and Cd are found in higher concentrations in the dry season, as a result of substantial evaporation of water. The Sia River runs continuously in the wet season, and waters collected close to the waste tips have pH as low as 2.5 and higher concentrations of Al, Cu, Fe and Zn. Further downstream there is a significant decrease in trace metal contents with a concomitant rise of pH. Al and Fe dominate total cation content when pH is lower than 4. Al is derived from the weathering of clay minerals, especially during the wet season. Fe is derived from the oxidation of pyrite. Once pH's exceed 4, a white

  9. The Regulation of Acid Mine Drainage in South Africa: Law and Governance Perspectives

    Loretta Feris

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Acid mine drainage (AMD is arguably one of the most serious environmental concerns in South Africa. AMD is a legacy left behind by abandoned, derelict and defunct mines, and is a continuing by-product of existing mining activities. In addition to its environmental impacts, AMD will also impact on all the parameters of sustainability, including ecological, social and economic concerns. In particular, AMD is set to affect infrastructure, displace people and affect their livelihoods, influence economic activity, impact on the resource extraction industry, and affect South Africa's policies and actions in relation to climate change and its efforts to move towards a low carbon economy; and it will test the efficiency of regulatory interventions emanating from both the private and the public sector to the extreme. Given these pervasive challenges, in this article we provide a survey of the AMD problem in South Africa through the law and governance lens. We commence by highlighting the various issues and challenges that result from AMD in the environmental context on the one hand, and the law and governance context on the other hand. We then describe the many provisions of the regulatory framework that we believe would be instrumental in responding to the threat. We conclude the article with brief remarks on what we believe are important considerations in the future regulation of AMD.

  10. Iron-mineral accretion from acid mine drainage and its application in passive treatment.

    Florence, K; Sapsford, D J; Johnson, D B; Kay, C M; Wolkersdorfer, C

    2016-06-01

    This study demonstrates substantial removal of iron (Fe) from acid mine drainage (pH ≈3) in a passive vertical flow reactor (VFR) with an equivalent footprint of 154 m(2) per L/s mine water and residence times of >23 h. Average Fe removal rate was 67% with a high of 85% over the 10-month trial. The fraction of Fe passing a 0.22 µm filter (referred to here as Fe-filt) was seen to be removed in the VFR even when Fe(II) was absent, indicating that the contribution of microbial Fe(II) oxidation and precipitation was not the dominant removal mechanism in the VFR. Removal rates of Fe-filt in the VFR were up to 70% in residence times as low as 8 h compared with laboratory experiments where much smaller changes in Fe-filt were observed over 60 h. Centrifugation indicated that 80-90% of the influent Fe had particle sizes water was contacted with VFR sludge, the Fe-filt fraction was destabilized, leading to an appreciably higher removal of this fraction. Heterogeneous precipitation and/or aggregation of nanoparticulate Fe(III) precipitates are considered predominant removal mechanisms. Microbial analyses of the mine water revealed the abundance of extracellular polymeric substance-generating Fe-oxidizing bacterium 'Ferrovum myxofaciens', which may aid the removal of iron and explain the unusual appearance and physical properties of the sludge. PMID:26675674

  11. Geochemistry of rare earth elements in a passive treatment system built for acid mine drainage remediation.

    Prudêncio, Maria Isabel; Valente, Teresa; Marques, Rosa; Sequeira Braga, Maria Amália; Pamplona, Jorge

    2015-11-01

    Rare earth elements (REE) were used to assess attenuation processes in a passive system for acid mine drainage treatment (Jales, Portugal). Hydrochemical parameters and REE contents in water, soils and sediments were obtained along the treatment system, after summer and winter. A decrease of REE contents in the water resulting from the interaction with limestone after summer occurs; in the wetlands REE are significantly released by the soil particles to the water. After winter, a higher water dynamics favors the AMD treatment effectiveness and performance since REE contents decrease along the system; La and Ce are preferentially sequestered by ochre sludge but released to the water in the wetlands, influencing the REE pattern of the creek water. Thus, REE fractionation occurs in the passive treatment systems and can be used as tracer to follow up and understand the geochemical processes that promote the remediation of AMD. PMID:26247412

  12. In situ studies with Asian clams (Carbacula fluminea) detect acid mine drainage and nutrient inputs in low-order streams

    This study evaluates the correlation between transplanted Asiatic clam and indigenous community responses to acid mine drainage and nutrient loading in first-to-third-order streams, by comparing the toxicological endpoints of clam survival and growth with benthic macro-invertebrate community indices as community responses to both acid mine drainage and nutrient loading. Clam survival was found to be positively correlated with water column pH and negatively correlated with conductivity and metal concentrations. There was also a positive correlation with the relative abundance of the macro-invertebrate Ephemeroptera, the most sensitive taxonomic group, to acid mine drainage in this watershed. No correlation was found between clam growth and acid mine drainage inputs, but there was evidence of positive correlation with nitrate concentrations and the relative abundance of collector-filterer functional feeding groups. These results suggest that clam growth is related to nutrient levels and accurately reflect benthic macro-invertebrate responses to nutrient loading. 28 refs., 5 tabs., 1 fig

  13. TREATMENT OF ACID MINE DRAINAGE: I. EQUILIBRIUM BIOSORPTION OF ZINC AND COPPER ON NON-VIABLE ACTIVATED SLUDGE

    Biosorption is potentially attractive technology for treament of acid mine drainage for separation/recovery of metal ions and mitigation of their toxicity to sulfate reducing bacteria. This study describes the equilibrium biosorptio of Zn(II) and CU(II) by nonviable activated slu...

  14. In-stream chemical neutralization: A whole watershed approach to mitigating acid mine drainage

    The North Branch of the Potomac River is adversely affected by acid mine drainage (AMD) throughout its entire length. As an alternative to mine-mouth treatment methods an in-stream AMD-neutralization demonstration program for an approximately 25-mile segment of the North Branch of the Potomac River was designed and implemented. This river segment was ranked as the highest priority site in Maryland for a demonstration project owing to its combination of very poor water quality and excellent potential for supporting a recreational sport fishery in the absence of toxic metal and acid loadings. A whole-watershed approach employing Scandinavian doser technologies and calcium carbonate neutralizing agents is the basis for the North Branch Potomac River demonstration project. The project involves four phases: feasibility (1), design (2), implementation (3), and monitoring (4). This watershed approach to mitigating AMD is expected to restore circumneutrial water quality and to promote desirable fishery resources throughout the mainstem and selected tributaries of the North Branch of the Potomac River Upstream of Jennings Randolph Dam. This paper summarizes Phases 1--3 of the demonstration project

  15. Acid mine drainage and stream recovery: Effects of restoration on water quality, macroinvertebrates, and fish

    Williams K.M.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Acid mine drainage (AMD is a prominent threat to water quality in many of the world’s mining districts as it can severely degrade both the biological community and physical habitat of receiving streams. There are relatively few long-term studies investigating the ability of stream ecosystems to recover from AMD. Here we assess watershed scale recovery of a cold-water stream from pollution by AMD using a 1967 survey of the biological and chemical properties of the stream as a pre-restoration benchmark. We sampled water chemistry, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fish throughout the watershed during the spring and summer of 2011. Water chemistry results indicated that pH and total alkalinity increased post-restoration, while acidity, sulfate, and iron concentrations decreased. Watershed-level taxa richness, local taxa richness, biomass, diversity, and density of macroinvertebrates were significantly higher post-restoration; however, %EPT was not significantly different. Fish species richness, density, and brook trout density were all significantly higher post-restoration. These results provide clear evidence that both abiotic and biotic components of streams can recover from AMD pollution.

  16. Application of fracture-flow hydrogeology to acid-mine drainage at the Bunker Hill Mine, Kellogg, Idaho

    Lachmar, Thomas E.

    1994-03-01

    The mechanics of groundwater flow through fractured rock has become an object of major research interest during recent years. This project has investigated the flow of groundwater through fractured Precambrian metaquartzite rocks in a portion of the Bunker Hill Mine near Kellogg, Idaho. Groundwater flow through these types of rocks is largely dependent upon the properties of fractures such as faults, joints and relict bedding planes. Groundwater that flows into the mine via the fractures is acidic and is contaminated by heavy metals, which results in a severe acid mine drainage problem. A more complete understanding of how the fractures influence the groundwater flow system is a prerequisite of the evaluation of reclamation alternatives to reduce acid drainage from the mine. Fracture mapping techniques were used to obtain detailed information on the fracture properties observed in the New East Reed drift of the Bunker Hill Mine. The information obtained includes fracture type, orientation, trace length, the number of visible terminations, roughness, waviness, infilling material, and a qualitative measure of the amount of water flowing through each fracture. The hydrogeologic field data collected include routine measurements of the discharge from four individual structural features and four areas where large quantities of water are discharging from vertical rock bolts, the depths to water in three piezometer nests at the ground surface, the pressure variations in four diamond drillholes, and constant discharge flow tests conducted on three of the diamond drillholes. The field data indicate that relict bedding planes are the primary conduits for groundwater flow, and suggest that the two major joint sets that are present connect water flowing through the discontinuous bedding planes. The three minor joint sets that are present do not seem to have a significant impact on groundwater flow, but along with the two major joint sets may store relatively large quantities of

  17. Effects of acid mine drainage on water, sediment and associated benthic macroinvertebrate communities

    The toxic constituents of abandoned mined land (AML) discharges (acidic pH, heavy metals, total suspended solids) are extremely toxic to aquatic life . Studies were undertaken to ascertain environmental impacts to the upper Powell River, Lee and Wise Counties, Va. These impacts included disruptions in physical water quality, sediment quality, altered benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages, and toxicity of the water column and sediments from short-term impairment bioassays, and the potential to bioaccumulate selected metals (Al, Fe, Mn, P, Zn, Cu, Mg, S, Ni, Cd) by periphyton and resident bivalves. Water chemistry and macroinvertebrate assemblages were collected at upstream control, just below acid mine drainage and other downstream sites. Selected trace metal concentrations (Al, Fe, Mn, P, Zn, Cu, Mg, S, Ni, Cd) were determined for water, sediment and resident bivalves using ICP-AES. Acidic pH ranged from 2.15--3.3 at three AML-influenced seeps and varied from 6.4--8.0 at reference stations. At one AML-influenced creek, acidic pH conditions worsened from summer to fall and eradicated aquatic life throughout a 1.5 km stretch of that creek as it flowed into another creek. An additional dilution of 3.4 km in the second creek was needed to nearly neutralize the acidic pH problem. Conductivity (umhos/cm) ranged from 32--278 at reference sites and from 245--4,180 at AML-impact sites. Benthic macroinvertebrate abundance and taxon richness were essentially eliminated in the seeps or reached numbers of 1 -3 taxa totaling < 10 organisms relative to reference areas where richness values were 12--17 and comprised 300--977 organisms. Concentrations of Fe, Al, Mg and Cu and Zn were highest in the environmentally stressed stations of low pH and high conductivity relative to the reference stations. Iron was, by far, the element in highest concentration followed by Al and Mg

  18. Trace metals of an acid mine drainage stream using a chemical model (WATEQ) and sediment analysis

    The high metal contents common to the discharge of acid-mine drainage (AMD) from mines and mine spoils is an environmental concern to both government and industry. This paper reports the results of investigation of the behavior of metals in an AMD system at a former surface coal mine in Tuscarawas County, Oh. AMD discharges from seeps travels, in respective order through a laminar flow stream; a Typha-dominated wetland; a turbulent flow stream; and a sediment retention pond. Dissolved metals (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cr, Cd, Cu, and Al) major and minor components, and other parameters (pH, dissolved oxygen and Eh) were measured in the AMD water at each sample location. A chemical mineral equilibrium model (WATEQ) was used to predict the minerals which should precipitate at each site. Results suggest that the seeps are supersaturated and should be precipitating hematite, goethite and magnetite (iron oxides), and siderite (iron carbonate), whereas water of the other downstream sites were at or below equilibrium conditions for these minerals. The hydrogeochemistry of the AMD was further studied using sequential chemical attacks on the precipitate sediment surface coatings, in order to determine metal concentrations in the exchangeable, carbonate, Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide, and oxidizable fractions. The carbonate and exchangeable fractions of the precipitate are dominated by Ca and Fe, as well as Mg in the carbonate fraction. The Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide fraction contained Fe, Al, Mn, Mg, and trace metals, and also contained the greatest concentration of total elements in the system. The Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide is therefore, the major sink for metals of this AMD system. The decrease in the concentration of metals in the sediment precipitates in the downstream locations, is consistent with WATEQ and water analysis results

  19. Coupling of hydrologic transport and chemical reactions in a stream affected by acid mine drainage

    Kimball, B.A.; Broshears, R.E.; Bencala, K.E.; McKnight, Diane M.

    1994-01-01

    Experiments in St. Kevin Gulch, an acid mine drainage stream, examined the coupling of hydrologic transport to chemical reactions affecting metal concentrations. Injection of LiCl as a conservative tracer was used to determine discharge and residence time along a 1497-m reach. Transport of metals downstream from inflows of acidic, metal-rich water was evaluated based on synoptic samples of metal concentrations and the hydrologic characteristics of the stream. Transport of SO4 and Mn was generally conservative, but in the subreaches most affected by acidic inflows, transport was reactive. Both 0.1-??m filtered and particulate Fe were reactive over most of the stream reach. Filtered Al partitioned to the particulate phase in response to high instream concentrations. Simulations that accounted for the removal of SO4, Mn, Fe, and Al with first-order reactions reproduced the steady-state profiles. The calculated rate constants for net removal used in the simulations embody several processes that occur on a stream-reach scale. The comparison between rates of hydrologie transport and chemical reactions indicates that reactions are only important over short distances in the stream near the acidic inflows, where reactions occur on a comparable time scale with hydrologic transport and thus affect metal concentrations.

  20. Accumulation of aluminium and iron by bryophytes in streams affected by acid-mine drainage

    Engleman, C.J.; McDiffett, W.F. [Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA (United States). Dept. of Biology

    1996-12-31

    This paper examines the accumulation of two heavy metals (Al and Fe) by bryophytes in a northern Pennsylvania stream system affected by acid-mine drainage. Four sites within one watershed were selected on the basis of their pH and dissolved metal concentrations. Significant differences among sites were found with regard to bioaccumulation of Al an Fe. A negative relationship between pH and Fe concentrations in bryophyte tissues was found, with the highest accumulation of Fe observed at the most acidic site (pH 3.5), whereas accumulation of Al was highest at a site with an intermediate pH of 5.2. Bryophytes transplanted from a circum-neutral site to acidic sites showed highly significant increases in Fe and Al concentrations in tissues after 6 weeks, and transplants from more acidic sites to a circum-neutral site generally showed highly significant declines in Fe and Al concentration in tissues after the incubation period.

  1. Acid mine drainage abatement using fluidized bed combustion ash grout after geophysical site characterization

    Pyritic coal refuse and pit cleanings buried in a 15-ha (37-acre) surface mine produce severe acid mine drainage (AMD). The pyritic material had been buried in discrete piles or pods in the backfill. The pods and the resulting contaminant plumes were initially defined using geophysical techniques and were confirmed by drilling. Fluidized bed combustion (FBC) ash, mixed with water to form a grout, was used in different ways to isolate the pyritic material from water and oxygen. In the first approach, grout was pressure injected directly into the buried pods to fill the void spaces within the pods and to coat the pyritic materials with a cementitious layer. A second approach used the grout to divert water from specific areas. Pods which did not accept grout because of a clay matrix were isolated from percolating water with a cap and trench seal of the grout. The grout was also used in certain areas to blanket the clay pit floor since clays are believed to be a primary source of aluminum at this site. In certain areas, the AMD migrates downward though fractures in the pit floor to the groundwater table. Grout was injected along the fractures in some of these areas to seal them. This would inhibit further AMD migration toward one of the receiving streams. The initial postgrouting water quality data have been encouraging

  2. Oxidative Precipitation of Manganese from Acid Mine Drainage by Potassium Permanganate

    Regeane M. Freitas

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Although oxidative precipitation by potassium permanganate is a widely recognised process for manganese removal, research dealing with highly contaminated acid mine drainage (AMD has yet to be performed. The present study investigated the efficiency of KMnO4 in removing manganese from AMD effluents. Samples of AMD that originated from inactive uranium mine in Brazil were chemically characterised and treated by KMnO4 at pH 3.0, 5.0, and 7.0. Analyses by Raman spectroscopy and geochemical modelling using PHREEQC code were employed to assess solid phases. Results indicated that the manganese was rapidly oxidised by KMnO4 in a process enhanced at higher pH. The greatest removal, that is, 99%, occurred at pH 7.0, when treated waters presented manganese levels as low as 1.0 mg/L, the limit established by the Brazilian legislation. Birnessite (MnO2, hausmannite (Mn3O4, and manganite (MnOOH were detected by Raman spectroscopy. These phases were consistently identified by the geochemical model, which also predicted phases containing iron, uranium, manganese, and aluminium during the correction of the pH as well as bixbyite (Mn2O3, nsutite (MnO2, pyrolusite (MnO2, and fluorite (CaF2 following the KMnO4 addition.

  3. Hydrogeochemical niches associated with hyporheic exchange beneath an acid mine drainage-contaminated stream

    Larson, Lance N.; Fitzgerald, Michael; Singha, Kamini; Gooseff, Michael N.; Macalady, Jennifer L.; Burgos, William

    2013-09-01

    Biological low-pH Fe(II)-oxidation creates terraced iron formations (TIFs) that remove Fe(III) from solution. TIFs can be used for remediation of acid mine drainage (AMD), however, as sediment depth increases, Fe(III)-reduction in anoxic subsurface areas may compromise treatment effectiveness. In this study we used near-surface electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) and in situ pore-water samplers to spatially resolve bulk conductivity changes within a TIF formed in a stream emanating from a large abandoned deep clay mine in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, USA. Because of the high fluid electrical conductivity of the emergent AMD (1860 μS), fresh water (42 μS) was added as a dilution tracer to visualize the spatial and temporal extent of hyporheic exchange and to characterize subsurface flow paths. Distinct hydrogeochemical niches were identified in the shallow subsurface beneath the stream by overlaying relative groundwater velocities (derived from ERI) with pore-water chemistry profiles. Niches were classified based on relatively “fast” versus “slow” rates of hyporheic exchange and oxic versus anoxic conditions. Pore-water concentrations and speciation of iron, pH, and redox potential differed between subsurface flow regimes. The greatest extent of hyporheic exchange was beneath the center of the stream, where a shallower (70 cm) Fe(II)-oxidizing zone. At these locations, relatively slower groundwater exchange may promote biotic Fe(II)-oxidation and improve the long-term stability of Fe sequestered in TIFs.

  4. Quantitative microbial community analysis of three different sulfidic mine tailing dumps generating acid mine drainage.

    Kock, Dagmar; Schippers, Axel

    2008-08-01

    The microbial communities of three different sulfidic and acidic mine waste tailing dumps located in Botswana, Germany, and Sweden were quantitatively analyzed using quantitative real-time PCR (Q-PCR), fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), catalyzed reporter deposition-FISH (CARD-FISH), Sybr green II direct counting, and the most probable number (MPN) cultivation technique. Depth profiles of cell numbers showed that the compositions of the microbial communities are greatly different at the three sites and also strongly varied between zones of oxidized and unoxidized tailings. Maximum cell numbers of up to 10(9) cells g(-1) dry weight were determined in the pyrite or pyrrhotite oxidation zones, whereas cell numbers in unoxidized tailings were significantly lower. Bacteria dominated over Archaea and Eukarya at all tailing sites. The acidophilic Fe(II)- and/or sulfur-oxidizing Acidithiobacillus spp. dominated over the acidophilic Fe(II)-oxidizing Leptospirillum spp. among the Bacteria at two sites. The two genera were equally abundant at the third site. The acidophilic Fe(II)- and sulfur-oxidizing Sulfobacillus spp. were generally less abundant. The acidophilic Fe(III)-reducing Acidiphilium spp. could be found at only one site. The neutrophilic Fe(III)-reducing Geobacteraceae as well as the dsrA gene of sulfate reducers were quantifiable at all three sites. FISH analysis provided reliable data only for tailing zones with high microbial activity, whereas CARD-FISH, Q-PCR, Sybr green II staining, and MPN were suitable methods for a quantitative microbial community analysis of tailings in general. PMID:18586975

  5. Effects of bacterial action on waste rock producing acid drainage in the Brazilian first uranium mine

    This work is an evolution of the methodology showed in the paper 'Study of waste of waste rock piles producing acid drainage in the Brazilian first uranium mine', also submitted for INAC2009. Therefore, the present work also related to the determination of chemical species leaching from waste rock pile 4 (WRP4) of the Uranium Mine and Milling Facility located in the Pocos de Caldas Plateau, as well as the generation of acid waters. With the previous experimental setup, it has been observed that not only water and available oxygen are significant to pyrite oxidation reaction, but bacterial activity as well. As a first approach, the present work addresses the same experiment, but now testing without the influence of bacterial action. Therefore, the new methodology and experimental setup is now capable of determining the acidity of water in contact with material from the WRP4 and the concentration of chemical species dissolved as function of time. Such would also show the extent of bacterial action interference on the pyrite oxidation reaction. Results are based on mass balances comparing concentrations of chemical species in the waste rock before the experiment and in the waste rock plus the remaining water after the experiment. In addition, the evolution of the pH and EMF (electromotive force) values along with chemical species quantified through the experiment are presented through graphics. That is followed by discussions on the significance of such results in terms of concentration of the involved chemical species. The present work has also shown the need of improving the injection of air into the system. A more sophisticated experimental setup should be assembled in the near future, which would allow the quantification of differences between experimental tests with and without bacterial action. (author)

  6. The Wheal Jane wetlands model for bioremediation of acid mine drainage

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a widespread environmental problem associated with both working and abandoned mining operations. As part of an overall strategy to determine a long-term treatment option for AMD, a pilot passive treatment plant was constructed in 1994 at Wheal Jane Mine in Cornwall, UK. The plant consists of three separate systems, each containing aerobic reed beds, anaerobic cell and rock filters, and represents the largest European experimental facility of its kind. The systems only differ by the type of pretreatment utilised to increase the pH of the influent minewater (pH <4): lime dosed (LD), anoxic limestone drain (ALD) and lime free (LF), which receives no form of pretreatment. Historical data (1994-1997) indicate median Fe reduction between 55% and 92%, sulphate removal in the range of 3-38% and removal of target metals (cadmium, copper and zinc) below detection limits, depending on pretreatment and flow rates through the system. A new model to simulate the processes and dynamics of the wetlands systems is described, as well as the application of the model to experimental data collected at the pilot plant. The model is process based, and utilises reaction kinetic approaches based on experimental microbial techniques rather than an equilibrium approach to metal precipitation. The model is dynamic and utilises numerical integration routines to solve a set of differential equations that describe the behaviour of 20 variables over the 17 pilot plant cells on a daily basis. The model outputs at each cell boundary are evaluated and compared with the measured data, and the model is demonstrated to provide a good representation of the complex behaviour of the wetland system for a wide range of variables

  7. Bioassessment of a combined chemical-biological treatment for synthetic acid mine drainage.

    Pagnanelli, F; De Michelis, I; Di Muzio, S; Ferella, F; Vegliò, F

    2008-11-30

    In this work, ecotoxicological characteristics of synthetic samples of acid mine drainage (AMD) before and after a combined chemical-biological treatment were investigated by using Lepidium sativum and Daphnia magna. AMD treatment was performed in a two-column apparatus consisting of chemical precipitation by limestone and biological refinement by sulphate reducing bacteria. Synthetic samples of AMD before treatment were toxic for both L. sativum (germination index, G, lower than 10%) and D. magna (100% immobility) due to acid pH and presence of copper and zinc. Chemical treatment (raising pH to 5-6 and eliminating copper) generated effluents with reduced toxicity for L. sativum (G=33%), while 100% immobility was still observed for D. magna. Dynamic trends of toxicity for the first and fifth outputs of the biological column denoted a gradual improvement leading to hormesis for Lepidium (after the initial release of organic excess), while a constant residual toxicity remained for Daphnia (probably due to H(2)S produced by sulphate reducing bacteria). PMID:18394799

  8. Preparation of metal-resistant immobilized sulfate reducing bacteria beads for acid mine drainage treatment.

    Zhang, Mingliang; Wang, Haixia; Han, Xuemei

    2016-07-01

    Novel immobilized sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) beads were prepared for the treatment of synthetic acid mine drainage (AMD) containing high concentrations of Fe, Cu, Cd and Zn using up-flow anaerobic packed-bed bioreactor. The tolerance of immobilized SRB beads to heavy metals was significantly enhanced compared with that of suspended SRB. High removal efficiencies of sulfate (61-88%) and heavy metals (>99.9%) as well as slightly alkaline effluent pH (7.3-7.8) were achieved when the bioreactor was fed with acidic influent (pH 2.7) containing high concentrations of multiple metals (Fe 469 mg/L, Cu 88 mg/L, Cd 92 mg/L and Zn 128 mg/L), which showed that the bioreactor filled with immobilized SRB beads had tolerance to AMD containing high concentrations of heavy metals. Partially decomposed maize straw was a carbon source and stabilizing agent in the initial phase of bioreactor operation but later had to be supplemented by a soluble carbon source such as sodium lactate. The microbial community in the bioreactor was characterized by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing of partial 16S rDNA genes. Synergistic interaction between SRB (Desulfovibrio desulfuricans) and co-existing fermentative bacteria could be the key factor for the utilization of complex organic substrate (maize straw) as carbon and nutrients source for sulfate reduction. PMID:27058913

  9. Novel nickel resistance genes from the rhizosphere metagenome of plants adapted to acid mine drainage.

    Mirete, Salvador; de Figueras, Carolina G; González-Pastor, Jose E

    2007-10-01

    Metal resistance determinants have traditionally been found in cultivated bacteria. To search for genes involved in nickel resistance, we analyzed the bacterial community of the rhizosphere of Erica andevalensis, an endemic heather which grows at the banks of the Tinto River, a naturally metal-enriched and extremely acidic environment in southwestern Spain. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis of rhizosphere DNA revealed the presence of members of five phylogenetic groups of Bacteria and the two main groups of Archaea mostly associated with sites impacted by acid mine drainage (AMD). The diversity observed and the presence of heavy metals in the rhizosphere led us to construct and screen five different metagenomic libraries hosted in Escherichia coli for searching novel nickel resistance determinants. A total of 13 positive clones were detected and analyzed. Insights about their possible mechanisms of resistance were obtained from cellular nickel content and sequence similarities. Two clones encoded putative ABC transporter components, and a novel mechanism of metal efflux is suggested. In addition, a nickel hyperaccumulation mechanism is proposed for a clone encoding a serine O-acetyltransferase. Five clones encoded proteins similar to well-characterized proteins but not previously reported to be related to nickel resistance, and the remaining six clones encoded hypothetical or conserved hypothetical proteins of uncertain functions. This is the first report documenting nickel resistance genes recovered from the metagenome of an AMD environment. PMID:17675438

  10. The chemistry of conventional and alternative treatment systems for the neutralization of acid mine drainage

    The oxidation of pyritic mining waste is a self-perpetuating corrosive process which generates acid mine drainage (AMD) effluent for centuries or longer. The chemical neutralization of these complex, buffered effluents result in unstable, metal-laden sludges, which require disposal to minimize long-term environmental consequences. A variety of passive treatment systems for AMD, developed in the past two decades, combine limestone and organic substrates in constructed wetlands. These systems work well initially but over the longer term fail due to clogging with and the depletion of available organic carbon. However, some ecologically engineered systems, which exploit the activities of acid reducing microbes in the sediment, rely on photosynthesis in the water column as a source of organic matter. The primary productivity in the water column, which also generates some alkalinity, provides electron donors for the microbial reduction processes in the sediment. In its consideration of 'passive' systems, the literature has placed undue emphasis on sulphate reduction; thermodynamical iron reduction is equally important as is the need to prevent iron oxidation. Secondary precipitates of iron play a significant role in sediment-driven biomineralization processes, which affect the anaerobic degradation of organic matter and the stability of the resulting metal sulfides. One such passive system, which utilized a floating root mass as a source of organic carbon, is described. An extensive review of the literature and the chemical and biogeochemical reactions of AMD treatment systems, lead to the conclusion, that sediment based ecological systems offer the greatest potential for the sustainable treatment of AMD

  11. The chemistry of conventional and alternative treatment systems for the neutralization of acid mine drainage.

    Kalin, Margarete; Fyson, Andrew; Wheeler, William N

    2006-08-01

    The oxidation of pyritic mining waste is a self-perpetuating corrosive process which generates acid mine drainage (AMD) effluent for centuries or longer. The chemical neutralization of these complex, buffered effluents result in unstable, metal-laden sludges, which require disposal to minimize long-term environmental consequences. A variety of passive treatment systems for AMD, developed in the past two decades, combine limestone and organic substrates in constructed wetlands. These systems work well initially but over the longer term fail due to clogging with and the depletion of available organic carbon. However, some ecologically engineered systems, which exploit the activities of acid reducing microbes in the sediment, rely on photosynthesis in the water column as a source of organic matter. The primary productivity in the water column, which also generates some alkalinity, provides electron donors for the microbial reduction processes in the sediment. In its consideration of 'passive' systems, the literature has placed undue emphasis on sulphate reduction; thermodynamical iron reduction is equally important as is the need to prevent iron oxidation. Secondary precipitates of iron play a significant role in sediment-driven biomineralization processes, which affect the anaerobic degradation of organic matter and the stability of the resulting metal sulfides. One such passive system, which utilized a floating root mass as a source of organic carbon, is described. An extensive review of the literature and the chemical and biogeochemical reactions of AMD treatment systems, lead to the conclusion, that sediment based ecological systems offer the greatest potential for the sustainable treatment of AMD. PMID:16375949

  12. The influence of biofilms on the migration of uranium in acid mine drainage (AMD) waters

    The uranium mine in Koenigstein (Germany) is currently in the process of being flooded. Huge mass of Ferrovum myxofaciens dominated biofilms are growing in the acid mine drainage (AMD) water as macroscopic streamers and as stalactite-like snottites hanging from the ceiling of the galleries. Microsensor measurements were performed in the AMD water as well as in the biofilms from the drainage channel on-site and in the laboratory. The analytical data of the AMD water was used for the thermodynamic calculation of the predominance fields of the aquatic uranium sulfate (UO2SO4) and UO2++ speciation as well as of the solid uranium species Uranophane [Ca(UO2)2(SiO3OH)2·5H2O] and Coffinite [U(SiO4)1-x(OH)4x], which are defined in the stability field of pH > 4.8 and Eh 0 and Eh 4.8. Even analysis by Energy-filtered Transmission Electron Microscopy (EF-TEM) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) within the biofilms did not provide any microscopic or spectroscopic evidence for the presence of uranium immobilization. In laboratory experiments the first phase of the flooding process was simulated by increasing the pH of the AMD water. The results of the experiments indicated that the F. myxofaciens dominated biofilms may have a substantial impact on the migration of uranium. The AMD water remained acid although it was permanently neutralized with the consequence that the retention of uranium from the aqueous solution by the formation of solid uranium species will be inhibited. - Highlights: → Redox potential and pH of the biofilm differ significantly compared to the AMD water. → Formation of an aqueous uranium(VI) sulfate complex in the biofilm and in the AMD water. → Experiments revealed that the F. myxofaciens dominated biofilms have a substantial impact on the migration of uranium. → Due to homeostatic mechanisms the microbes maintain their intracellular pH even when the pH of the water increases.

  13. The use of coal combustion by-products to control acid mine drainage

    The placement of an alkaline coal combustion by-product (CCB) in abandoned, reclaimed or active surface coal mines is intended to reduce the amount of acid mine drainage (AMD) produced at such sites. The CCB may limit acid formation by several mechanisms: neutralization, inhibition of acid forming bacteria, encapsulation of the pyrite or water diversion. Water quality changes have been monitored at three sites where a grout containing fly ash was injected after reclamation. Comparison of water quality, before and after grouting, indicated small increases in pH and decreases in acidity at discharge points. The concentrations of calcium and magnesium in water samples generally increased. Concentrations of trace elements were found to be generally comparable in treated and untreated areas. When grouted and ungrouted areas were compared, the effect of the fly ash was shown to be localized in the areas of injection. These studies indicated that fly ash is an effective reagent for control of AMD, but that large volumes are required to treat a site. To corroborate the field results, a series of column leaching tests were conducted to determine the release of trace elements from CCB as a function of pH. A one kg fly ash sample is placed in each of several 5-cm by 1 m acrylic columns. The material is leached at a nominal rate of 250 nL/d for 60 days. Lixiviants include deionized water, artificial groundwater, synthetic precipitation, and dilute solutions of acetic acid, sodium carbonate, sulfuric acid, and ferric chloride. Leachate is analyzed for the trace elements antimony, arsenic, barium, boron, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, lead, nickel, selenium, and zinc. Leachate data, analyzed as the mass extracted with respect to the concentration in the solid, indicate that the release of trace elements is variable. Depending on the pH or the leachant solution, the mass release of arsenic, copper, nickel and zinc may exceed 20 pct of the amount present in the original sample

  14. Uranium pollution in an estuary affected by pyrite acid mine drainage and releases of naturally occurring radioactive materials

    Highlights: → Huelva estuary is affected by former phosphogypsum releases and pyrite acid mine drainage. → Time evolution of uranium concentration is analyzed after halting of NORM releases. → Two new contamination sources are preventing the complete uranium cleaning: (1) The leaching of phosphogypsum stacks located close to Tinto River. (2) Pyrite acid mine drainage. → High uranium concentrations are dissolved in water and precipitate subsequently. - Abstract: After the termination of phosphogypsum discharges to the Huelva estuary (SW Spain), a unique opportunity was presented to study the response of a contaminated environmental compartment after the cessation of its main source of pollution. The evolution over time of uranium concentrations in the estuary is presented to supply new insights into the decontamination of a scenario affected by Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) discharges. The cleaning of uranium isotopes from the area has not taken place as rapidly as expected due to leaching from phosphogypsum stacks. An in-depth study using various techniques of analysis, including 234U/238U and 230Th/232Th ratios and the decreasing rates of the uranium concentration, enabled a second source of uranium contamination to be discovered. Increased uranium levels due to acid mine drainage from pyrite mines located in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Spain) prevent complete uranium decontamination and, therefore, result in levels nearly twice those of natural background levels.

  15. BONE MEAL AS ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FOR ACIDIC AND METAL CONTAMINATED ACID MINE DRAINAGE WATER EFFLUENT: LAB SCALE

    Carolyn Payus

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The typical methods of treatment for acidic and metal contaminated water effluent such as the Acid Mine Drainage (AMD will always focus on either civil engineering methods, such as disposal, excavation, drainage and encapsulation or process based technologies such as effluent washing and treatment. These techniques are not environmental friendly, costly and unsustainable, thus environmental damaging. Nowadays, there is a growing need for an alternative remediation treatment that is innovative and more natural in order to prevent pollution in the environment. Therefore, in this study, a new alternative treatment, that is more organic, biodegradable and cost effective, using bone meal was presented. In this research, bone meal comprising of chicken bones were used as an alternative passive treatment to determine its potential in neutralizing and removing heavy metals from the abandoned cooper mine, Mamut Acid Mine Drainage (AMD waste water effluent. A pretreatment process for bone meal was performed by incineration process where it was heated up in the furnace at 500°C for 24 h after it was cleaned, crushed, boiled and dried. Batch experiment test has been carried out to test whether the selected bone meal sizes 45, 75 and 150 µm was able to neutralize the AMD Mamut water samples. Inductive Plasma Couple-Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES test was carried out to test the concentration of the heavy metals before and after the treatment. The surface morphology of bone meal was examined by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM. Enlargement of pores after the neutralization treatment was seen on the surface morphology of the bone meal by SEM analyses. A significant rising of pH from 2.98 to 5.69 within 6 h 30 min was observed during neutralization process and 99% removal of Fe, Zn, Al, Cu and 36% removal of Mg concentration was achieved after the treatment through the neutralization treatment of the AMD waste water effluent. The results from this

  16. Characterization and Localization of Iron-Oxidizing Proteins in Acid Mine Drainage Biofilms

    Chan, C. S.; Thelen, M. P.; Hwang, M.; Banfield, J. F.

    2005-12-01

    As molecular geomicrobiologists, we are interested in the microbially-produced molecules that effect geochemical transformations, particularly proteins involved in lithotrophic energy generation. We have identified two such proteins produced by Leptospirillum group II microbes, which dominate biofilms floating on acidic waters in the Richmond Mine at Iron Mountain, CA. Leptospirillum generates energy by iron oxidation, producing the ferric iron catalyst responsible for pyrite oxidation, subsequent acid generation and toxic metal release. We have shown that a small (~16 kDa) soluble protein, cytochrome-579, extracted from environmental biofilm samples is capable of iron oxidation in vitro, consistent with prior studies on similar cytochromes from L. ferriphilum and ferrooxidans (Blake et al., 1993; Hart et al., 1991). The abundance of cyt579 and its ability to oxidize iron makes it a key link between microbial metabolism and acid mine drainage. Given the importance of cyt579 in biofilm sustenance as well as acid generation, we want to understand more about its distribution and also the architecture of the biofilm environment in which it functions. Using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) on ultrathin sections, we observe biofilms as thin as 15 microns with densely-packed cells in a matrix of polymers. To localize cyt579 in the biofilm, we purified the protein and developed antibodies for immunolabeling. The antibodies were shown to be highly specific for cyt579 using Western blots of whole biofilm lysate. Fluorescence- and gold-labeled secondary antibodies were used to visualize immunolabeled biofilms by confocal laser scanning microscopy and TEM, respectively. Preliminary results suggest that the cytochrome is on the bacterial cell surface or in the periplasm but not throughout the biofilm, as we had postulated due to the abundance of cytochrome in extracellular fractions of biofilm samples. These localization studies will be helpful in determining the

  17. Characterization of the microbial acid mine drainage microbial community using culturing and direct sequencing techniques.

    Auld, Ryan R; Myre, Maxine; Mykytczuk, Nadia C S; Leduc, Leo G; Merritt, Thomas J S

    2013-05-01

    We characterized the bacterial community from an AMD tailings pond using both classical culturing and modern direct sequencing techniques and compared the two methods. Acid mine drainage (AMD) is produced by the environmental and microbial oxidation of minerals dissolved from mining waste. Surprisingly, we know little about the microbial communities associated with AMD, despite the fundamental ecological roles of these organisms and large-scale economic impact of these waste sites. AMD microbial communities have classically been characterized by laboratory culturing-based techniques and more recently by direct sequencing of marker gene sequences, primarily the 16S rRNA gene. In our comparison of the techniques, we find that their results are complementary, overall indicating very similar community structure with similar dominant species, but with each method identifying some species that were missed by the other. We were able to culture the majority of species that our direct sequencing results indicated were present, primarily species within the Acidithiobacillus and Acidiphilium genera, although estimates of relative species abundance were only obtained from direct sequencing. Interestingly, our culture-based methods recovered four species that had been overlooked from our sequencing results because of the rarity of the marker gene sequences, likely members of the rare biosphere. Further, direct sequencing indicated that a single genus, completely missed in our culture-based study, Legionella, was a dominant member of the microbial community. Our results suggest that while either method does a reasonable job of identifying the dominant members of the AMD microbial community, together the methods combine to give a more complete picture of the true diversity of this environment. PMID:23485423

  18. Stable isotope geochemistry of acid mine drainage; experimental oxidation of pyrite

    Sulfate and water from experiments in which pyrite was oxidized at a pH of 2.0 were analyzed for sulfur and oxygen stable isotopes. Experiments were conducted under both aerobic and anaerobic sterile conditions, as well as under aerobic conditions in the presence of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans, to elucidate the pathways of oxidation. Oxygen isotope fractionation between SO42- and H2O varied from +4.0 per mille (anaerobic, sterile) to +18.0 per mille (aerobic, with T. ferrooxidans). The oxygen isotope composition of dissolved oxygen utilized in both chemical and microbially-mediated oxidation was also determined (+11.4 per mille, by T. ferrooxidans; +18.4 per mille, chemical). Contributions of water-derived oxygen and dissolved oxygen to the sulfate produced in the oxidation of pyrite could thus be estimated. Water-derived oxygen constituted from 23 to approx. 100 per cent of the oxygen in the sulfate produced in the experiments, and this closely approximates the range of contribution in natural acid mine drainage. Oxidation of sulfides in anaerobic, water-saturated environments occurs primarily by chemical oxidation pathways, whereas oxidation of sulfides in well-aerated, unsaturated zone environments occurs dominantly by microbially-mediated pathways. (author)

  19. Radium and barium removal through blending hydraulic fracturing fluids with acid mine drainage.

    Kondash, Andrew J; Warner, Nathaniel R; Lahav, Ori; Vengosh, Avner

    2014-01-21

    Wastewaters generated during hydraulic fracturing of the Marcellus Shale typically contain high concentrations of salts, naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), and metals, such as barium, that pose environmental and public health risks upon inadequate treatment and disposal. In addition, fresh water scarcity in dry regions or during periods of drought could limit shale gas development. This paper explores the possibility of using alternative water sources and their impact on NORM levels through blending acid mine drainage (AMD) effluent with recycled hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids (HFFFs). We conducted a series of laboratory experiments in which the chemistry and NORM of different mix proportions of AMD and HFFF were examined after reacting for 48 h. The experimental data combined with geochemical modeling and X-ray diffraction analysis suggest that several ions, including sulfate, iron, barium, strontium, and a large portion of radium (60-100%), precipitated into newly formed solids composed mainly of Sr barite within the first ∼ 10 h of mixing. The results imply that blending AMD and HFFF could be an effective management practice for both remediation of the high NORM in the Marcellus HFFF wastewater and beneficial utilization of AMD that is currently contaminating waterways in northeastern U.S.A. PMID:24367969

  20. Recovery of Rare Earth Elements and Yttrium from Passive-Remediation Systems of Acid Mine Drainage.

    Ayora, Carlos; Macías, Francisco; Torres, Ester; Lozano, Alba; Carrero, Sergio; Nieto, José-Miguel; Pérez-López, Rafael; Fernández-Martínez, Alejandro; Castillo-Michel, Hiram

    2016-08-01

    Rare earth elements and yttrium (REY) are raw materials of increasing importance for modern technologies, and finding new sources has become a pressing need. Acid mine drainage (AMD) is commonly considered an environmental pollution issue. However, REY concentrations in AMD can be several orders of magnitude higher than in naturally occurring water bodies. With respect to shale standards, the REY distribution pattern in AMD is enriched in intermediate and valuable REY, such as Tb and Dy. The objective of the present work is to study the behavior of REY in AMD passive-remediation systems. Traditional AMD passive remediation systems are based on the reaction of AMD with calcite-based permeable substrates followed by decantation ponds. Experiments with two columns simulating AMD treatment demonstrate that schwertmannite does not accumulate REY, which, instead, are retained in the basaluminite residue. The same observation is made in two field-scale treatments from the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB, southwest Spain). On the basis of the amplitude of this process and on the extent of the IPB, our findings suggest that the proposed AMD remediation process can represent a modest but suitable REY source. In this sense, the IPB could function as a giant heap-leaching process of regional scale in which rain and oxygen act as natural driving forces with no energy investment. In addition to having environmental benefits of its treatment, AMD is expected to last for hundreds of years, and therefore, the total reserves are practically unlimited. PMID:27351211

  1. Separate recovery of copper and zinc from acid mine drainage using biogenic sulfide

    Precipitation of metals from acid mine drainage (AMD) using sulfide gives the possibility of selective recovery due to different solubility product of each metal. Using sulfate reducing bacteria to produce sulfide for that purpose is advantageous due to in situ and on-demand sulfide production. In this study, separate precipitation of Cu and Zn was studied using sulfide produced in anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR). ABR fed with ethanol (1340 mg/L chemical oxygen demand (COD)) and sulfate (2000 mg/L) gave a stable performance with 65% sulfate reduction, 85% COD removal and around 320 mg/L sulfide production. Cu was separately precipitated at low pH (pH 2 gas. Cu precipitation was complete within 45-60 min and Zn did not precipitate during Cu removal. The Cu precipitation rate increased with initial Cu concentration. After selective Cu precipitation, Zn recovery was studied using ABR effluent containing sulfide and alkalinity. Depending on initial sulfide/Zn ratio, removal efficiency varied between 84 and 98%. The low pH of Zn bearing AMD was also increased to neutral values using alkalinity produced by sulfate reducing bacteria in ABR. The mode of particle size distribution of ZnS and CuS precipitates was around 17 and 46 μm, respectively.

  2. Wine wastes as carbon source for biological treatment of acid mine drainage.

    Costa, M C; Santos, E S; Barros, R J; Pires, C; Martins, M

    2009-05-01

    Possible use of wine wastes containing ethanol as carbon and energy source for sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) growth and activity in the treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD) is studied for the first time. The experiments were performed using anaerobic down-flow packed bed reactors in semi-continuous systems. The performance of two bioreactors fed with wine wastes or ethanol as carbon sources is compared in terms of sulphate reduction, metals removal and neutralization. The results show that efficient neutralization and high sulphate removal (>90%) were attained with the use of wine wastes as substrate allowing the production of effluents with concentrations below the required local legislation for irrigation waters. This is only possible provided that the AMD and wine wastes are contacted with calcite tailing, a waste material that neutralizes and provides buffer capacity to the medium. The removal of metals using wine wastes as carbon source was 61-91% for Fe and 97% for both Zn and Cu. The lower removal of iron, when wine waste is used instead of ethanol, may be due to the presence of iron-chelating compounds in the waste, which prevent the formation of iron sulphide, and partial unavailability of sulphide because of re-oxidation to elemental sulphur. However, that did not affect significantly the quality of the effluent for irrigation. This work demonstrates that wine wastes are a potential alternative to traditional SRB substrates. This finding has direct implication to sustainable operation of SRB bioreactors for AMD treatment. PMID:19201010

  3. Biogeochemistry of the compost bioreactor components of a composite acid mine drainage passive remediation system

    The compost bioreactor ('anaerobic cell') components of three composite passive remediation systems constructed to treat acid mine drainage (AMD) at the former Wheal Jane tin mine, Cornwall, UK were studied over a period of 16 months. While there was some amelioration of the preprocessed AMD in each of the three compost bioreactors, as evidenced by pH increase and decrease in metal concentrations, only one of the cells showed effective removal of the two dominant heavy metals (iron and zinc) present. With two of the compost bioreactors, concentrations of soluble (ferrous) iron draining the cells were significantly greater than those entering the reactors, indicating that there was net mobilisation (by reductive dissolution) of colloidal and/or solid-phase ferric iron compounds within the cells. Soluble sulfide was also detected in waters draining all three compost bioreactors which was rapidly oxidised, in contrast to ferrous iron. Oxidation and hydrolysis of iron, together with sulfide oxidation, resulted in reacidification of processed AMD downstream of the compost bioreactors in two of the passive treatment systems. The dominant cultivatable microorganism in waters draining the compost bioreactors was identified, via analysis of its 16S rRNA gene, as a Thiomonas sp. and was capable of accelerating the dissimilatory oxidation of both ferrous iron and reduced sulfur compounds. Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) were also detected, although only in the bioreactor that was performing well were these present in significant numbers. This particular compost bioreactor had been shut down for 10 months prior to the monitoring period due to operational problems. This unforeseen event appears to have allowed more successful development of AMD-tolerant and other microbial populations with critical roles in AMD bioremediation, including neutrophilic SRB (nSRB), in this compost bioreactor than in the other two, where the throughput of AMD was not interrupted. This study has

  4. Microbial diversity at the moderate acidic stage in three different sulfidic mine tailings dumps generating acid mine drainage.

    Korehi, Hananeh; Blöthe, Marco; Schippers, Axel

    2014-11-01

    In freshly deposited sulfidic mine tailings the pH is alkaline or circumneutral. Due to pyrite or pyrrhotite oxidation the pH is dropping over time to pH values <3 at which acidophilic iron- and sulfur-oxidizing prokaryotes prevail and accelerate the oxidation processes, well described for several mine waste sites. The microbial communities at the moderate acidic stage in mine tailings are only scarcely studied. Here we investigated the microbial diversity via 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis in eight samples (pH range 3.2-6.5) from three different sulfidic mine tailings dumps in Botswana, Germany and Sweden. In total 701 partial 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed a divergent microbial community between the three sites and at different tailings depths. Proteobacteria and Firmicutes were overall the most abundant phyla in the clone libraries. Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Nitrospira occurred less frequently. The found microbial communities were completely different to microbial communities in tailings at

  5. Molecular analysis of benthic biofilms from acidic coal mine drainage, Pennsylvania, USA

    Mills, D. B.; Jones, D. S.; Burgos, W. D.; Macalady, J. L.

    2010-12-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a common environmental problem in Pennsylvania that results from the oxidation of sulfide minerals exposed at abandoned coal mines. In these systems, acidophilic microorganisms catalyze the oxidation of ferrous (Fe2+) to ferric iron (Fe3+), which precipitates as iron-hydroxide minerals. To develop and improve low-pH bioremediation strategies, characterization of the microbiology of AMD systems is essential. An acidic (pH 2-4) AMD spring known as ‘Lower Red Eyes’ in Gallitzan State Forest, PA, is fed by anoxic groundwater with ferrous iron concentrations above 550 mg/L. More than half of the total iron is removed after the springwater flows downstream over 80 m of stagnant pools and iron-oxide terraces. We used fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and 16S rDNA cloning to characterize the microbial communities from orange sediments and green benthic biofilms. 16S rDNA sequences were extracted from a green biofilm found in a pH 3.5 pool 10 m downstream of the emergence. Based on chloroplast 16S rDNA sequences and morphological characteristics, we found that Euglena mutabilis was the dominant eukaryotic organism from this location. Euglena mutabilis is a photosynthetic protozoan common in acidic and heavy metal affected environments, and likely contributes to the precipitation of iron oxides through the production of molecular oxygen. Bacterial 16S rDNA sequences were cloned from iron-oxide sediments with orange cauliflower morphology 27 m downstream from the spring emergence. More than 60% of bacterial sequences retrieved from the orange sediment sample are related to the iron-oxidizing Betaproteobacterium Ferrovum myxofaciens. Other bacterial sequences include relatives of iron-oxidizing genera in the Gammaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Actinobacteria. FISH analyses show that Betaproteobacteria-dominated communities are associated with Euglena in multiple upstream locations where pH is above 3.0. Using light microscopy

  6. Adsorption compared with sulfide precipitation as metal removal processes from acid mine drainage in a constructed wetland

    Machemer, Steven D.; Wildeman, Thomas R.

    1992-01-01

    Metal removal processes from acid mine drainage were studied in an experimental constructed wetland in the Idaho Springs-Central City mining district of Colorado. The wetland was designed to passively remove heavy metals from the mine drainage flowing from the Big Five Tunnel. Concurrent studies were performed in the field on the waters flowing from the wetland and in the laboratory on the wetland substrate. Both studies suggest that there is competition for organic adsorption sites among Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn. Iron and Cu appear to be more strongly adsorbed than Zn and Mn. The adsorption of metals varies with the fluctuation of pH in the outflow water. Also indicated by field and laboratory studies is the microbial reduction of sulfate with a corresponding increase in the sulfide concentration of the water. As sulfide is generated. Cu and Zn are completely removed. The field results suggest that upon start up of a constructed wetland, the adsorption of dissolved metals onto organic sites in the substrate material will be an important process. Over time, sulfide precipitation becomes the dominant process for metal removal from acid mine drainage.

  7. Colloidal precipitates related to Acid Mine Drainage: bacterial diversity and micro fungi-heavy metal interactions

    Lucchetti, G.; Carbone, C.; Consani, S.; Zotti, M.; Di Piazza, S.; Pozzolini, M.; Giovine, M.

    2015-12-01

    In Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) settings colloidal precipitates control the mobility of Potential Toxic Elements (PTEs). Mineral-contaminant relationships (i.e. adsorption, ion-exchange, desorption) are rarely pure abiotic processes. Microbes, mainly bacteria and microfungi, can catalyze several reactions modifying the element speciation, as well as the bioavailability of inorganic pollutants. Soil, sediments, and waters heavily polluted with PTEs through AMD processes are a potential reservoir of extremophile bacteria and fungi exploitable for biotechnological purposes. Two different AMD related colloids, an ochraceous precipitate (deposited in weakly acidic conditions, composed by nanocrystalline goethite) and a greenish-blue precipitate (deposited at near-neutral pH, composed by allophane + woodwardite) were sampled. The aims of this work were to a) characterize the mycobiota present in these colloidal minerals by evaluating the presence of alive fungal propagules and extracting bacteria DNA; b) verify the fungal strains tolerance, and bioaccumulation capability on greenish-blue and ZnSO4 enriched media; c) evaluate potential impact of bacteria in the system geochemistry. The preliminary results show an interesting and selected mycobiota able to survive under unfavourable environmental conditions. A significant number of fungal strains were isolated in pure culture. Among them, species belonging to Penicillium and Trichoderma genera were tested on both greenish-blue and ZnSO4 enriched media. The results show a significant tolerance and bioaccumulation capability to some PTEs. The same colloidal precipitates were processed to extract bacteria DNA by using a specific procedure developed for sediments. The results give a good yield of nucleic acids and a positive PCR amplification of 16S rDNA accomplished the first step for future metagenomic analyses.

  8. Acute toxicity of an acid mine drainage mixing zone to juvenile bluegill and largemouth bass

    Henry, T.B.; Irwin, E.R.; Grizzle, J.M.; Wildhaber, M.L.; Brumbaugh, W.G.

    1999-01-01

    The toxicity of an acid mixing zone produced at the confluence of a stream that was contaminated by acid mine drainage (AMD) and a pH-neutral stream was investigated in toxicity tests with juvenile bluegill Lepomis macrochirus and largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides. Fish mortalities in instream cages located in the mixing zone, below the mixing zone, and upstream in both tributaries were compared to determine relative toxicity at each site. In all tests and for both species, significantly higher mortality was observed in the mixing zone than at any other location, including the acid stream, which had lower pH (2.9-4.3). The mixing zone was defined chemically by rapid precipitation of dissolved aluminum and iron, which arrived from the low-pH stream, and by the presence of white precipitates, which were attached to the substratum and which extended below the confluence. Possible seasonal changes in mixing zone toxicity were investigated by conducting field tests with bluegill in June, July, and August 1996 and in January 1997 and by conducting field tests with largemouth bass in April and May 1997. Toxicity was not significantly different at the extremes of temperature, pH, and metal concentration that occurred in June and July, as compared with January. Toxicity was significantly lower in August; however, elevated stream discharge during the August test may have disturbed mixing zone characteristics. High toxicity in AMD mixing zones may lower the survival of fishes in streams, reduce available habitat, and impede movements of migratory fish.

  9. Hydrogeochemical characteristics of streams with and without acid mine drainage impacts: A paired catchment study in karst geology, SW China

    Sun, Jing; Tang, Changyuan; Wu, Pan; Strosnider, William H. J.; Han, Zhiwei

    2013-11-01

    A paired catchment study was used to assess karst hydrogeochemistry of two streams.Chemistry of streams with and without acid mine drainage (AMD) was very different.The observation was supported by PHREEQC modeling of equilibrium conditions.Ionic fluxes of AMD-impacted water were higher than that of non-AMD-impacted water.The higher ionic fluxes were predominantly controlled by the oxidation of pyrite.

  10. The role of sulfate and ionic strength on the shift from acid to alkaline mine drainage in southwest Pennsylvania

    Four Mile Run, Latrobe, PA, receives discharges from abandoned deep mines. In 1971, the effluent was characterized as having low pH, high acidity, and high concentrations of iron, manganese, and sulfate. After 22 yr of neglect, the water flow rate, pH, and alkalinity all increased, while the acidity, iron, manganese, and sulfate concentrations decreased. The overall loading of iron and sulfate to the stream has not changed significantly. This change from acid to alkaline drainage is fairly typical for mine effluent in the surrounding area. However, the mechanism for change is not well understood. Laboratory studies have shown that the neutralization rate of marble chips (CaCO3) is depressed by high ionic strength or elevated levels of sulfate. The decrease in sulfate levels may be an important factor contributing to the change in water quality discharged into Four Mile Run. A similar kinetic phenomenon may occur with mine spoils and anoxic drains

  11. THE RESPONSE OF THE PERIPHYTIC DIATOM COMMUNITY TO ACID MINE DRAINAGE POLLUTION

    Andreea Ciorba; R. Barreiro Lozano

    2004-01-01

    This paper proposes to relate the principal characteristics of diatom community (species richness, biodiversity, community biomass, diatom indices) to the stress induced by acidification and high levels of metal. The study was done in a mine drainage affected area in Galicia (NW Spain) by comparing periphytic diatom communities from polluted streams to ones in supposedly clean waters. The change in the dominant species was the clearest response to AMD pollution while species richness and div...

  12. Development and Validation of an Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Process for Source Water

    Lane, Ann [Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, OH (United States)

    2016-03-01

    Throughout Northern Appalachia and surrounding regions, hundreds of abandoned mine sites exist which frequently are the source of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). AMD typically contains metal ions in solution with sulfate ions which have been leached from the mine. These large volumes of water, if treated to a minimum standard, may be of use in Hydraulic Fracturing (HF) or other industrial processes. This project’s focus is to evaluate an AMD water treatment technology for the purpose of providing treated AMD as an alternative source of water for HF operations. The HydroFlex™ technology allows the conversion of a previous environmental liability into an asset while reducing stress on potable water sources. The technology achieves greater than 95% water recovery, while removing sulfate to concentrations below 100 mg/L and common metals (e.g., iron and aluminum) below 1 mg/L. The project is intended to demonstrate the capability of the process to provide AMD as alternative source water for HF operations. The second budget period of the project has been completed during which Battelle conducted two individual test campaigns in the field. The first test campaign demonstrated the ability of the HydroFlex system to remove sulfate to levels below 100 mg/L, meeting the requirements indicated by industry stakeholders for use of the treated AMD as source water. The second test campaign consisted of a series of focused confirmatory tests aimed at gathering additional data to refine the economic projections for the process. Throughout the project, regular communications were held with a group of project stakeholders to ensure alignment of the project objectives with industry requirements. Finally, the process byproduct generated by the HydroFlex process was evaluated for the treatment of produced water against commercial treatment chemicals. It was found that the process byproduct achieved similar results for produced water treatment as the chemicals currently in use. Further

  13. Predicting taxonomic and functional structure of microbial communities in acid mine drainage.

    Kuang, Jialiang; Huang, Linan; He, Zhili; Chen, Linxing; Hua, Zhengshuang; Jia, Pu; Li, Shengjin; Liu, Jun; Li, Jintian; Zhou, Jizhong; Shu, Wensheng

    2016-06-01

    Predicting the dynamics of community composition and functional attributes responding to environmental changes is an essential goal in community ecology but remains a major challenge, particularly in microbial ecology. Here, by targeting a model system with low species richness, we explore the spatial distribution of taxonomic and functional structure of 40 acid mine drainage (AMD) microbial communities across Southeast China profiled by 16S ribosomal RNA pyrosequencing and a comprehensive microarray (GeoChip). Similar environmentally dependent patterns of dominant microbial lineages and key functional genes were observed regardless of the large-scale geographical isolation. Functional and phylogenetic β-diversities were significantly correlated, whereas functional metabolic potentials were strongly influenced by environmental conditions and community taxonomic structure. Using advanced modeling approaches based on artificial neural networks, we successfully predicted the taxonomic and functional dynamics with significantly higher prediction accuracies of metabolic potentials (average Bray-Curtis similarity 87.8) as compared with relative microbial abundances (similarity 66.8), implying that natural AMD microbial assemblages may be better predicted at the functional genes level rather than at taxonomic level. Furthermore, relative metabolic potentials of genes involved in many key ecological functions (for example, nitrogen and phosphate utilization, metals resistance and stress response) were extrapolated to increase under more acidic and metal-rich conditions, indicating a critical strategy of stress adaptation in these extraordinary communities. Collectively, our findings indicate that natural selection rather than geographic distance has a more crucial role in shaping the taxonomic and functional patterns of AMD microbial community that readily predicted by modeling methods and suggest that the model-based approach is essential to better understand natural

  14. Combination of Successive Alkalinity Producing System (SAPS) and Aeration for Passive Treatment of Highly Acidic Mine Drainage

    Oh, C.; Ji, S.

    2015-12-01

    Passive treatment system has been widely used for remediation of mine drainage since its advantage of low installation and maintenance cost. The system, however, has also a disadvantage in assuring remediation and management efficiency if the drainage is highly acidic mine drainage. To remediate acid mine drainage (AMD) especially showing high acidity, passive treatment system which consists of successive alkalinity producing system (SAPS) and subsequent aeration pond was proposed and its mechanisms and efficiency was evaluated in this research. Target AMD was obtained from Waryong coal mine and showed typical characteristics of AMD having high metal concentration and low pH (acidity > 300 mg/L as CaCO3). Four experimental cases were conducted; untreated, treated with SAPS, treated with aeration, treated with SAPS and aeration to compare role and mechanism of each unit. Between organic matter and limestone layer which constitute SAPS, the former eliminated most of Fe(III) and Al in the AMD so that the latter was kept from being clogged by precipitates. Net acidity of the AMD rapidly decreased by supplement of alkalinity at the limestone layer. A primary function of SAPS, producing alkalinity constantly without clogging, was attained due to addition a portion of limestone particle into the organic matter layer. The discharge from SAPS had low ORP and DO values because of an anaerobic environment formed at the organic matter layer although its alkalinity was increased. This water quality was unfavorable for Fe(II) to be oxidized. Installation of aeration pond after SAPS, therefore, could be effective way of enhancing oxidation rate of Fe(II). Among the experimental cases, the combination of SAPS and aeration pond was only able to remediate the AMD. This concluded that to remediate highly acidic mine drainage with passive treatment system, three critical conditions were required; pre-precipitation of Fe(III) and Al at organic matter layer in SAPS, constant alkalinity

  15. Microbial Communities and a Novel Symbiotic Interaction in Extremely Acidic Mine Drainage at Iron Mountain, California

    Baker, B. J.; Banfield, J. F.

    2002-12-01

    Culture-independent studies of microbial communities in the acid mine drainage (AMD) system associated with the Richmond ore body at Iron Mountain, CA, demonstrated that the total number of prokaryote lineages is small compared to other environments. Phylogenetic analyses of 232 small subunit ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes from six clone libraries revealed some novel lines of descent. Many of the novel clones were from libraries constructed from subaerial biofilms associated with fine grained pyrite. The clones form several distinct groups within the order Thermoplasmatales and are most closely related to Ferroplasma spp. and Thermoplasma spp. Another novel group detected in a pH 1.4 pool and a pH 0.8 biofilm falls within the Rickettsiales (alpha-proteobacteria and related to mitochondria) and is most closely related to a-proteobacterial endosymbionts of Acanthamoeba spp. An oligonucleotide rRNA probe designed to target alpha-proteobacteria revealed that these are protist endosymbionts, and that they are associated with a small percentage (2%) of the total eukaryotes in samples from the Richmond mine. Measurements of the internal pH of these protists show that their cytosol is close to neutral. Thus, protists provide a habitat within the AMD system that is at least 5 pH units less acidic than the surroundings. The uncultured AMD endosymbionts have a conserved 273 nucleotide intervening sequence (IVS) in the variable V1 region of their 16S rRNA gene. The IVS does not match any sequence in current databases, but predicted secondary structure form well defined stem loops. The discovery of inserts within a highly conserved gene is extremely rare. At present we have not identified the protist host. However, it is interesting to note that protists previously shown to have a-proteobacterial endosymbionts possess 18S rRNA genes that contain both IVSs and group I introns. The possibility that the IVS in the AMD bacteria is a result of extensive genetic exchange between a

  16. Simulation of acid mine drainage generation around Küre VMS Deposits, Northern Turkey

    Demirel, Cansu; Kurt, Mehmet Ali; Çelik Balci, Nurgül

    2015-04-01

    This study investigated comparative leaching characteristics of acidophilic bacterial strains under shifting environmental conditions at proposed two stages as formation stage or post acidic mine drainage (AMD) generation. At the first stage, initial reactions associated with AMD generation was simulated in shaking flasks containing massive pyritic chalcopyrite ore by using a pure strain Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and a mixed culture of Acidithiobacillus sp. mostly dominated by A. ferrooxidans and A. thiooxidans at 26oC. At the second stage, long term bioleaching experiments were carried out with the same strains at 26oC and 40oC to investigate the leaching characteristics of pyritic chalcopyrite ore under elevated heavy metal and temperature conditions. During the experiments, physicochemical characteristics (e.i. Eh, pH, EC) metal (Fe, Co, Cu, Zn) and sulfate concentration of the experimental solution were monitored during 180 days. Significant acid generation and sulfate release were determined during bioleaching of the ore by mixed acidophilic cultures containing both iron and sulfur oxidizers. In the early stage of the experiments, heavy metal release from the ore was caused by generation of acid due to accelerated bacterial oxidation of the ore. Generally high concentrations of Co and Cu were released into the solution from the experiments conducted by pure cultures of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans whereas high Zn and Fe was released into the solution from the mixed culture experiments. In the later stage of AMD generation and post AMD, chemical oxidation is accelerated causing excessive amounts of contamination, even exceeding the amounts resulted from bacterial oxidation by mixed cultures. Acidithibacillus ferrooxidans was found to be more effective in leaching Cu, Fe and Co at higher temperatures in contrary to mixed acidophiles that are more prone to operate at optimal moderate conditions. Moreover, decreasing Fe values are noted in bioleaching

  17. Prediction of the long-term performance of green liquor dregs as a sealing layer to prevent the formation of acid mine drainage

    Mäkitalo, Maria; Lu, Jinmei; Maurice, Christian; Öhlander, Björn

    2015-01-01

    One of the mining industry's main concerns is the management of waste rock and tailings generated by sulfide ore extraction. Upon exposure of atmospheric oxygen, iron sulfides oxidize generating acidity. Infiltrating water form a metal-rich acidic leachate called acid mine drainage (AMD), that can cause serious environmental problems. Green liquor dregs (GLD) is a material that resists the passage of oxygen and water and could thus be used to seal mine wastes, preventing their oxidation and A...

  18. Toxicity and metal speciation in acid mine drainage treated by passive bioreactors

    Neculita, C.M.; Vigneaul, B.; Zagury, G.J. [Ecole Polytechnic, Montreal, PQ (Canada)

    2008-08-15

    Sulfate-reducing passive bioreactors treat acid mine drainage (AMD) by increasing its pH and alkalinity and by removing metals as metal sulfide precipitates. In addition to discharge limits based on physicochemical parameters, however, treated effluent is required to be nontoxic. Acute and sublethal toxicity was assessed for effluent from 3.5-L column bioreactors filled with mixtures of natural organic carbon sources and operated at different hydraulic retention times (HRTs) for the treatment of a highly contaminated AMD. Effluent was first tested for acute (Daphnia magna and Oncorhynchus mykiss) and sublethal (Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, Ceriodaphnia dabia, and Lemna minor) toxicity. Acute toxicity was observed for D. magna, and a toxicity identification evaluation (TIE) procedure was then performed to identify potential toxicants. Finally, metal speciation in the effluent was determined using ultrafiltration and geochemical modeling for the interpretation of the toxicity results. The 10-d HRT effluent was nonacutely lethal for 0. mykiss but acutely lethal for D. magna. The toxicity to D. magna, however, was removed by 2 h of aeration, and the TIE procedure suggested iron as a cause of toxicity. Sublethal toxicity of the 10-d HRT effluent was observed for all test species, but it was reduced compared to the raw AMD and to a 7.3-d HRT effluent. Data regarding metal speciation indicated instability of both effluents during aeration and were consistent with the toxicity being caused by iron. Column bioreactors in operation for more than nine months efficiently improved the physicochemical quality of highly contaminated AMD at different HRTs.

  19. Utilizing acid mine drainage sludge and coal fly ash for phosphate removal from dairy wastewater.

    Wang, Y R; Tsang, Daniel C W; Olds, William E; Weber, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    This study aims to investigate a new and sustainable approach for the reuse of industrial by-products from wastewater treatment. The dairy industry produces huge volumes of wastewater, characterized by high levels of phosphate that can result in eutrophication and degradation of aquatic ecosystems. This study evaluated the application of acid mine drainage (AMD) sludge, coal fly ash, and lignite as low-cost adsorbents for the removal of phosphate from dairy wastewater. Material characterization using X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area analysis revealed significant amounts of crystalline/amorphous Fe/Al/Si/Ca-based minerals and large surface areas of AMD sludge and fly ash. Batch adsorption isotherms were best described using the Freundlich model. The Freundlich distribution coefficients were 13.7 mg(0.577) L(0.423) g(-1) and 16.9 mg(0.478) L(0.522) g(-1) for AMD sludge and fly ash, respectively, and the nonlinearity constants suggested favourable adsorption for column applications. The breakthrough curves of fixed-bed columns, containing greater than 10 wt% of the waste materials (individual or composite blends) mixed with sand, indicated that phosphate breakthrough did not occur within 100 pore volumes while the cumulative removal was 522 and 490 mg kg(-1) at 10 wt% AMD sludge and 10 wt% fly ash, respectively. By contrast, lignite exhibited negligible phosphate adsorption, possibly due to small amounts of inorganic minerals suitable for phosphate complexation and limited surface area. The results suggest that both AMD sludge and fly ash were potentially effective adsorbents if employed individually at a ratio of 10 wt% or above for column application. PMID:24617077

  20. MiniSipper: A new in situ water sampler for high-resolution, long-duration acid mine drainage monitoring

    Chapin, Thomas P.; Todd, Andrew S.

    2012-01-01

    Abandoned hard-rock mines can be a significant source of acid mine drainage (AMD) and toxic metal pollution to watersheds. In Colorado, USA, abandoned mines are often located in remote, high elevation areas that are snowbound for 7–8 months of the year. The difficulty in accessing these remote sites, especially during winter, creates challenging water sampling problems and major hydrologic and toxic metal loading events are often under sampled. Currently available automated water samplers are not well suited for sampling remote snowbound areas so the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed a new water sampler, the MiniSipper, to provide long-duration, high-resolution water sampling in remote areas. The MiniSipper is a small, portable sampler that uses gas bubbles to separate up to 250 five milliliter acidified samples in a long tubing coil. The MiniSipper operates for over 8 months unattended in water under snow/ice, reduces field work costs, and greatly increases sampling resolution, especially during inaccessible times. MiniSippers were deployed in support of an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) project evaluating acid mine drainage inputs from the Pennsylvania Mine to the Snake River watershed in Summit County, CO, USA. MiniSipper metal results agree within 10% of EPA-USGS hand collected grab sample results. Our high-resolution results reveal very strong correlations (R2 > 0.9) between potentially toxic metals (Cd, Cu, and Zn) and specific conductivity at the Pennsylvania Mine site. The large number of samples collected by the MiniSipper over the entire water year provides a detailed look at the effects of major hydrologic events such as snowmelt runoff and rainstorms on metal loading from the Pennsylvania Mine. MiniSipper results will help guide EPA sampling strategy and remediation efforts in the Snake River watershed.

  1. THE RESPONSE OF THE PERIPHYTIC DIATOM COMMUNITY TO ACID MINE DRAINAGE POLLUTION

    Andreea Ciorba

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes to relate the principal characteristics of diatom community (species richness, biodiversity, community biomass, diatom indices to the stress induced by acidification and high levels of metal. The study was done in a mine drainage affected area in Galicia (NW Spain by comparing periphytic diatom communities from polluted streams to ones in supposedly clean waters. The change in the dominant species was the clearest response to AMD pollution while species richness and diversity were sensitive only to high levels of pollution.

  2. Humic acid decreases acute toxicity and ventilation frequency in eastern rainbowfish (Melanotaenia splendida splendida) exposed to acid mine drainage.

    Holland, Aleicia; Duivenvoorden, Leo J; Kinnear, Susan H W

    2014-12-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a global problem leading to the acidification of freshwaters, as well as contamination by heavy metals. The ability of humic substances (HS) such as humic acid (HA) to decrease toxicity of heavy metals is widely known, whereas limited studies have examined the ability of HS to decrease toxicity linked with multiple stressors such as those associated with AMD. This study investigated the ability of HA to decrease acute toxicity defined as morbidity and ventilation frequency (measured via the time elapsed for ten operculum movements) in eastern rainbowfish (Melanotaenia splendida splendida) exposed to the multiple stressors of AMD-driven heavy metal concentrations, together with low pH. Water from the Mount Morgan open pit (a now closed gold and copper mine site), located at Mount Morgan, Central Queensland, Australia, was used as the AMD source. Fish were exposed to zero per cent (pH 7.3), two per cent (pH 6.7), three per cent (pH 5.7) and four per cent (pH 4.6) AMD in the presence of 0, 10 and 20mg/L Aldrich Humic Acid (AHA) over 96h. HA was shown to significantly decrease the acute toxicity of AMD and its adverse effects on ventilation frequency. These results are important in showing that HA can influence toxicity of metal mixtures and low pH, thus indicating a potential role for HA in decreasing toxicity of multiple environmental stressors more widely, and possible value as a rehabilitation aid. PMID:25173849

  3. IMPACT OF ADDITIONALS CONTAMINANTS DUE TO ACID MINE DRAINAGE IN TRIBUTARIES OF THE PILCOMAYO RIVER FROM CERRO RICO, POTOSÍ, BOLIVIA

    William H.J. Strosnider

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Intensive mining and processing of the polymetallic sulfide ore body of Cerro Rico de Potosí (Bolivia has occurred since 1545. To further investigate acid mine drainage (AMD discharges and their link to downstream contamination, data were gathered during two sampling events during the most extreme periods of the dry and wet seasons of one year. Concentrations of Ag, B, Ba, Mo, Sb, Se, Sn and V in AMD and receiving streams were greater than Bolivian discharge limits and receiving water body guidelines as well as international agricultural use standards. High concentrations of rare earth metals have been documented in this area. Results indicate that contamination from mining has a larger scope than previously thought and underscore the importance of remediation.

  4. Assessment of acid mine drainage remediation schemes on ground water flow regimes at a reclaimed mine site

    Ground water modeling and a field monitoring program were conducted for a 35-acre reclaimed surface mine site that continues to produce acid mine drainage (AMD). The modeling effort was focused on predicting the effectiveness of various remedial measures implemented at the site for the abatement of AMD on predicting the effectiveness of various remedial measures implemented at the site for the abatement of AMD production. The field work included surface surveys and monitoring of ground water levels with time, seepage areas, and sedimentation ponds located on the site. The surveys provided the physical and topographic characteristics of the site. Pump tests conducted at the site provided general hydraulic conductivities (k) for two major areas of the site; undisturbed area (k ≅ 2.9 x 10-5 ft/s) and disturbed area (k ≅ 3.3 x 10-4 ft/s to 2.0 x 10-3 ft/s). The monitored ground water data indicated rapid change in ground water levels during recharge events. Such behavior is indicative of flow regime that is dominated by fracture flow. Modeling of an approximately 700 ft by 1,500 ft area of the site was achieved using the US GS code MODFLOW, and ground water field measurements were used to calibrate the model. A hydraulic conductivity of about 1.15 x 10-3 ft/s was estimated for the undisturbed area and 1.15 x 10-2 ft/s for the reclaimed area. Remedial measures for diverting the ground water away from the areas of spoil included the use of a subsurface seepage cutoff wall and discrete sealing techniques. Modeling results indicated that the most effective remedial technique for this site is the use of a subsurface seepage cutoff wall installed at the interface (highwall) between the disturbed and undisturbed zones. Using this scheme caused a dewatering effect in the reclaimed area and therefore reduction in the volume of the AMD generated at the site

  5. The Impact of Microbial Communities on Water Quality in an Acid Mine Drainage Impacted Watershed

    McDaniel, G. R.; Rademacher, L. K.; Faul, K. L.; Brunell, M.; Burmeister, K. C.

    2011-12-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) from the former Leona Heights Sulfur mine in Oakland, CA, contributes toxic levels of Cu, Cd, and Zn and elevated levels of Fe2+ and SO42- to downstream reaches of Lion Creek via Leona Creek. To investigate the extent of AMD and its relationship to microbial community structure, water samples were collected from three tributaries (two natural, and one with AMD) as well as the inlet and outlet of Lake Aliso (a reservoir downstream of the confluence of the three tributaries) beginning in July 2009. Lake Aliso was dammed in the late 1800s but since the early 1990s it has been full during the dry season and drained during the wet season, thus dramatically altering the geochemical conditions on a seasonal basis. Natural waters from Lion Creek and Horseshoe Creek tributaries dilute the water from Leona Creek, thus reducing concentrations of major ions and metals below toxic levels before water discharges into Lake Aliso. Precipitation events lead to episodes of increased mobilization of Cu and Cd in Leona Creek and produce toxic levels of these metals below the confluence with Lion Creek. Tributary mixing calculations suggest that even though Leona Creek contributes the smallest volume of water of the three tributaries, it is the main source of metals entering Lake Aliso. The input of the metal-rich AMD from Leona Creek changes the redox conditions of Lion Creek. In addition, Lake Aliso has a significant impact on water quality in the Lion Creek watershed. Observations of temperature, conductivity, pH, and dissolved oxygen in lake depth profiles indicate that Lake Aliso is stratified during the dry season when the lake is full. Based on concentration differences between the inlet and outlet of the lake, Na, Mg, SO42-, Ca, Mn, Zn, Cd, Cu and Ni are removed from the water while K, As, Pb and Fe are mobilized when Lake Aliso is full. Geochemical modeling using PhreeqcI suggests the deposition of minerals containing the metals that are being removed

  6. Metals in agricultural produce associated with acid-mine drainage in Mount Morgan (Queensland, Australia).

    Vicente-Beckett, Victoria A; McCauley, Gaylene J Taylor; Duivenvoorden, Leo J

    2016-06-01

    Acid-mine drainage (AMD) into the Dee River from the historic gold and copper mine in Mount Morgan, Queensland (Australia) has been of concern to farmers in the area since 1925. This study sought to determine the levels of AMD-related metals and sulfur in agricultural produce grown near the mine-impacted Dee River, compare these with similar produce grown in reference fields (which had no known AMD influence), and assess any potential health risk using relevant Australian or US guidelines. Analyses of lucerne (Medicago sativa; also known as alfalfa) from five Dee fields showed the following average concentrations (mg/kg dry basis): Cd AMD influence; the levels were within the US National Research Council (US NRC) guidelines for maximum tolerable cattle dietary intake. Pasture grass (also cattle feed) from two fields in the Dee River floodplains gave mean concentrations (mg/kg dry) of Cd 0.14, Cu 12, Fe 313, Mn 111, Pb 1.4, Zn 86 and S 2450. All metal levels from the Dee and from reference sites were below the US NRC guidelines for maximum tolerable cattle dietary intake; however, the average Cd, Cu and Fe levels in Dee samples were significantly greater than the corresponding levels in the pasture grass reference sites, suggesting AMD influence in the Dee samples. The average levels in the edible portions of mandarin oranges (Citrus reticulata) from Dee sites (mg/kg wet weight) were Cd 0.011, Cu 0.59, Fe 2.2, Mn 0.56, Pb 0.18, S 91 and Zn 0.96. Cd and Zn were less than or close to, average Fe and Mn levels were at most twice, Cd 1.8 or 6.5 times, and Pb 8.5 or 72 times the maximum levels in raw oranges reported in the US total diet study (TDS) or the Australian TDS, respectively. Average Cd, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn levels in the citrus reference samples were found to exceed the maximum reported in one or both TDS surveys. Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn plant-soil transfer factor (TF) values were < 1 for all agricultural samples from both Dee and reference sites, suggesting

  7. Development and Implementation of Integrative Bioassessment Techniques to Delineate Small Order Acid Mine Drainage Impacted Streams of the North Fork Powell River, Southwestern Virginia.

    Schmidt, Travis Scott

    2001-01-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) results from the oxidation of pyretic mineralogy, exposed by mining operations to oxygen and water. This reaction produces sulfuric acid and liberates heavy metals from the surrounding mineralogy and impairs water quality and freshwater communities. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun an ecosystem restoration project to remediate the abandoned mine land (AML) impacts to the North Fork Powell River (NFP) and is utilizing the ecotoxicological ratin...

  8. Distribution, ecology and inhibition of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans in relation to acid drainage from Witwatersrand gold mine dumps

    The distribution and ecology of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans in gold mine dumps and possible means for its inhibition were investigated. A literature survey of the micro-ecology of mine waste dumps in various parts of the world was undertaken. A linear alkylbenzene sulphonate (LAS), NANSA 80/S, and a cetyl pyridinium chloride, Ceepryn, were tested as possible inhibitors for mine dump application. The LAS was rejected because it is poorly soluble in water and required higher concentrations than SLS for the inhibition of T.ferrooxidans. Ceepryn was an efficient inhibitor, but its efficiency was dramatically impeded in the presence of mine dump sand making it unsuitable for application on dumps. The SLS and LAS were tested against a mixed population of T.ferrooxidans from gold mine dumps and these bacteria were shown to be marginally more resistant to the inhibitors than the pure T.ferrooxidans culture. Sampling from mine dumps on the Witwatersrand suggested that the major T.ferrooxidans populations occurred in the moist sand of the drainage areas at the base of dumps, with few viable iron-oxidising bacteria located on the surfaces or in the centre of dumps. Sites of low moisture in dumps contained few or no viable bacteria. In the laboratory the bacterial viability decreased rapidly with loss of moisture from the sand. Moisture was shown to be important to bacterial activity and should be considered with respect to acid drainage control. Experimental sand columns showed that iron was leached with water from mine dump sand in the absence and presence of bacteria. In this study substrates, moisture, oxygen and carbon dioxide availability, ph, temperature, microorganisms and metal pollutants of uranium waste dumps are also covered

  9. Ecological assessment of coal mine and metal mine drainage in South Korea using Daphnia magna bioassay

    Lee, Sang-Ho; Kim, Injeong; Kim, Kyoung-Woong; Lee, Byung-Tae

    2015-01-01

    In order to assess the ecological effect of acid mine drainage, metal mine (Dalsung) and coal mine (Samtan) drainage in South Korea were collected. The each mine drainage then investigated by whole effluent toxicity test (WET) and toxicity identification evaluation (TIE). WET results demonstrated that DS leachate and ST mine water is more toxic than other mine drainage due to the presence of cationic metals and acidic pH. TIE results revealed that the acidic pH and copper (Cu) could be the ma...

  10. Using a mass balance to understand the geology and geochemistry of a reservoir receiving and discharging acid mine drainage

    Howard-Williams Lake is a 14.5 acre reservoir located in an abandoned coal mine in Perry County, Ohio. With a pH of 3.0 and acidity values of 300--400 mg/L, the reservoir has no plants or fish currently surviving in the lake. Reclamation of spoil piles adjacent to the lake to the north in the late 1980s was not successful in reducing the acidity of the lake. Currently, papermill sludge is being used on the reclaimed area to the north to promote vegetation, but the reservoir has shown no signs of improving. The goal of this project is to transform the lake into a fishable and swimmable one. The reservoir is receiving about 175 gallons per minute of acid mine drainage, not including seepage into the lake, from eight different sources. Three of the sources account for about 165 gallons per minute of the surface water that enters the lake. These inflows have relatively low acidity readings, which range from 66 mg/L to 568 mg/L. The other five sources of acid mine drainage have much lower flowrates, but have acidity values as high as 3,000 mg/L. Samples of all of the surface inflows and the outflow of the lake were taken and sent to a laboratory and tested for the following parameters: total acidity as CaCO3, total alkalinity as CaCO2, specific conductivity, total suspended solids, sulfate, chloride calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, total iron, total manganese, aluminum, and hardness. During sampling of the surface inflows, volumetric flowrates were measured for each inflow. Once the flowrates and the concentrations of the various parameters were known, a mass balance could be constructed which would show how much of each parameter was entering the lake each day. These data were then used to gain an understanding of the geochemistry and geology of the site

  11. Effects of acid mine drainage on dissolved inorganic carbon and stable carbon isotopes in receiving streams

    Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) constitutes a significant fraction of a stream's carbon budget, yet the role of acid mine drainage (AMD) in DIC dynamics in receiving streams remains poorly understood. The objective of this study was to evaluate spatial and temporal effects of AMD and its chemical evolution on DIC and stable isotope ratio of DIC (δ13CDIC) in receiving streams. We examined spatial and seasonal variations in physical and chemical parameters, DIC, and δ13CDIC in a stream receiving AMD. In addition, we mixed different proportions of AMD and tap water in a laboratory experiment to investigate AMD dilution and variable bicarbonate concentrations to simulate downstream and seasonal hydrologic conditions in the stream. Field and laboratory samples showed variable pH, overall decreases in Fe2+, alkalinity, and DIC, and variable increase in δ13CDIC. We attribute the decrease in alkalinity, DIC loss, and enrichment of 13C of DIC in stream water to protons produced from oxidation of Fe2+ followed by Fe3+ hydrolysis and precipitation of Fe(OH)3(s). The extent of DIC decrease and 13C enrichment of DIC was related to the amount of HCO3- dehydrated by protons. The laboratory experiment showed that lower 13C enrichment occurred in unmixed AMD (2.7 per mille ) when the amount of protons produced was in excess of HCO3- or in tap water (3.2 per mille ) where no protons were produced from Fe3+ hydrolysis for HCO3- dehydration. The 13C enrichment increased and was highest for AMD-tap water mixture (8.0 per mille ) where Fe2+ was proportional to HCO3- concentration. Thus, the variable downstream and seasonal 13C enrichment in stream water was due in part to: (1) variations in the volume of stream water initially mixed with AMD and (2) to HCO3- input from groundwater and seepage in the downstream direction. Protons produced during the chemical evolution of AMD caused seasonal losses of 50 to >98% of stream water DIC. This loss of DIC in AMD impacted streams may have

  12. Mycogenic Mn(II) oxidation promotes remediation of acid mine drainage and other anthropogenically impacted environments

    Santelli, C. M.; Chaput, D.; Hansel, C. M.; Burgos, W. D.

    2014-12-01

    Manganese is a pollutant in worldwide environments contaminated with metals and organics, such as acid mine drainage (AMD), freshwater ponds, and agricultural waste storage sites. Microorganisms contribute to the removal of dissolved Mn compounds in the environment by promoting Mn(II) oxidation reactions. The oxidation of Mn(II) results in the precipitation of sparingly soluble Mn(IV) oxide minerals, effectively removing the metal from the aqueous milieu (e.g., groundwater or wastewater streams). In recent years, our research has identified a diversity of Mn(II)-oxidizing fungi inhabiting these polluted environments, however their overall contribution to the remediation process in situ remains poorly understood. Here we present results of culture-based and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) studies in AMD treatment systems actively remediating Mn and other metals where we profile the bacterial, fungal, algal and archaeal communities to determine the overall community diversity and to establish the relative abundance of known Mn(II) oxidizers. A variety of treatment systems with varying Mn-removal efficiencies were sampled to understand the relationship between remediation efficiency and microbial community composition and activity. Targeted-amplicon sequencing of DNA and RNA of the 16S rRNA genes (bacteria and archaea), 23S rRNA genes (algae) and ITS region (fungi) was performed using both 454 pyrosequencing and Illumina platforms. Results showed that only the fungal taxonomic profiles significantly differed between sites that removed the majority of influent Mn and those that did not. Specifically, Ascomycota (which include known Mn(II) oxidizers isolated from these treatment systems) dominated greater efficiency systems whereas less efficient systems were dominated by Basidiomycota. Furthermore, known Mn(II) oxidizers accounted for only a minor proportion of bacterial sequences but a far greater proportion of fungal sequences. These culture-independent studies lend

  13. ACID ROCK DRAINAGE

    Anca Ionce

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Acid rock drainage (ARD is an particularly important aspect for the evaluation of the decantation ponds’ safety, and which has been only once taken into consideration at the Tarnicioara decantation pond, year 2002, as a consequence of the apparition of a strong seepage on the deposit’s dump, that has chemically de-purified the water from the river Brateasa. We have observed ARD, which implies the release of acid solutions from the mining sterile deposits, from the underground mining works and from the quarries, in the following tailings dams: Tarnicioara, Valea Strajii, Poarta Veche- which served Tarniţa Preparation Enterprise and in the Dealu Negru and Paraul Cailor ponds- which, at their time served Fundu Moldovei Preparation Enterprise, both during the period of their functioning and the period after their closure. For the decantation pond Dumitrelu which served the Calimani preparation enterprise, acid seepages from the deposit were mentioned in a study made by SC ICPM SA Baia Mare in 1993. Subsequently to the closure of the objective such seepage did not take place anymore. Instead, by raining, there is a frequent plant sterile dragging from the contour retaining wall down to the trouble pond, situated upstream.

  14. Ecological assessment of coal mine and metal mine drainage in South Korea using Daphnia magna bioassay.

    Lee, Sang-Ho; Kim, Injeong; Kim, Kyoung-Woong; Lee, Byung-Tae

    2015-01-01

    In order to assess the ecological effect of acid mine drainage, metal mine (Dalsung) and coal mine (Samtan) drainage in South Korea were collected. The each mine drainage then investigated by whole effluent toxicity test (WET) and toxicity identification evaluation (TIE). WET results demonstrated that DS leachate and ST mine water is more toxic than other mine drainage due to the presence of cationic metals and acidic pH. TIE results revealed that the acidic pH and copper (Cu) could be the main toxicants in both mine drainage. The strong acidic pH (pH toxicity by increase of metal activity and bioavailability. The toxicity of most mine drainage revealed that the positive correlation between metal concentration and toxicity unit (TU). The regression data between TU and sum of cumulative criterion unit (CCU) demonstrated the reasonable statistical significance (R = 0.89; p toxicity by the effect of amorphous iron precipitate. PMID:26405638

  15. Fundamental study of a one-step ambient temperature ferrite process for treatment of acid mine drainage waters

    Morgan, B. E.; Loewenthal, R. E.; Lahav, O.

    2001-01-01

    A novel approach towards the removal of iron and heavy metals from South African acid mine drainage (AMD) waters is presented. The approach involves the controlled oxidation of ferrous-containing AMD water at ambient temperatures in the presence of magnetite seed. The resulting oxidation product is the ferrite (Ml(2)(3+)M2(2+)O(4)) magnetite (Fe3O4), which has the capacity for non-ferrous metal removal, and which forms a stable sludge that is easily separated from the effluent. Sludge charact...

  16. Role of dissimilatory sulfate reduction in wetlands constructed for acid coal mine drainage (AMD) treatment. Master's thesis

    Five constructed wetlands with different organic substrates were exposed to the same quantity/quality of acid mine drainage (AMD). During the 16-month exposure to AMD, all wetlands accumulated S in the forms of organic and reduced inorganic S and Fe in the form of iron sulfides. Iron sulfide and probably most of the organic S(C-bonded S) accumulation were end products of bacterial dissimilatory sulfate reduction. Results of study support the notion that sulfate reduction and accumulation of Fe sulfides contribute to Fe retention in wetlands exposed to AMD. Detailed information is provided

  17. Quantifying heavy metals sequestration by sulfate-reducing bacteria in an acid mine drainage-contaminated wetland

    JohnWMoreau

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Bioremediation strategies that depend on bacterial sulfate reduction for heavy metals remediation harness the reactivity of these metals with biogenic aqueous sulfide. Quantitative knowledge of the degree to which specific toxic metals are partitioned into various sulfide, oxide, or other phases is important for predicting the long-term mobility of these metals under environmental conditions. Here we report the quantitative partitioning into sedimentary biogenic sulfides of a suite of metals and metalloids associated with acid mine drainage contamination of a natural estuarine wetland for over a century.

  18. Acid Mine Drainage Research in Gauteng Highlighting Impacts on Infrastructure and Innovation of Concrete-Based Remedial Systems

    Diop, S.; Ekolu, S.; Azene, F.

    2013-12-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is presently one of the most important environmental problems in in the densely populated Gauteng Province, South Africa. The threat of acid mine drainage has demanded short-term interventions (some of which are being implemented by government) but more importantly sustainable long-term innovative solutions. There have been moments of public apprehension with some media reports dubbing the current scenario as a future 'nightmare of biblical proportions' and 'South Africa's own Chernobyl' that could cause dissolving of concrete foundations of buildings and reinforcement steel, leading to collapse of structures. In response to the needs of local and provincial authorities, this research was conducted to (1) generate scientific understanding of the effects of AMD on infrastructure materials and structures, and (2) propose innovative long-term remedial systems based on cementitious materials for potential AMD treatment applications of engineering scale. Two AMD solutions from the goldfields and two others from the coalfields were used to conduct corrosion immersion tests on mild steel, stainless steel, mortars, pastes and concretes. Results show that AMD water from the gold mines is more corrosive than that from the coal mines, the corrosion rate of the former being about twice that of the latter. The functionality of metal components of mild steel can be expected to fail within one month of exposure to the mine water. The investigation has also led to development of a pervious concrete filter system of water-cement ratio = 0.27 and cement content = 360 kg/m3, to be used as a permeable reactive barrier for AMD treatment. Early results show that the system was effective in removing heavy metal contaminants with removal levels of 30% SO4, 99% Fe, 50-83% Mn, 85% Ca, and 30% TDS. Further work is on-going to improve and optimise the system prior to field demonstration studies.

  19. SODA ASH TREATMENT OF NEUTRALIZED MINE DRAINAGE

    Utilization of acid mine drainage (AMD) streams as a source of potable and industrial water has become a major goal of several proposed AMD treatment schemes. From among the various schemes available, the lime neutralization/soda ash softening process was selected for use at Alto...

  20. Acid Mine Drainage Passive Remediation: Potential Use of Alkaline Clay, Optimal Mixing Ratio and Long Term Impacts

    Plaza, F.; Liang, X.; Wen, Y.; Perone, H.

    2015-12-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is one of the most adverse environmental problems of the mine industry. Surface water and ground water affected by this pollution are characterized by their acidity and the high content of sulfates and heavy metals. In this study, alkaline clay, an industrial waste with a high pH, which is utilized in the alumina refining process, was used as the remediation material to inhibit pyrite oxidation. Through a series of batch and column experiments, complemented with field measurements and geochemical modeling, three important issues associated with this passive and auto sustainable acid mine drainage remediation method were investigated: 1) the potential use of alkaline clay as an AMD remediation material, 2) the adequate alkaline clay/coal refuse mixing ratio (AC/CR) to ensure pH values near to neutral conditions, and, 3) the prediction of long term impacts, in terms of the trends of the main parameters involved in this process such as pH, concentrations of sulfate, iron and other dissolved contaminants. Both field measurements and the samples used for the experiments came from a coal waste site located in Mather, Pennsylvania. Alkaline clay proved to be an effective remediation material for AMD. It was found that 10% AC/CR is an adequate mixing ratio (i.e. the upper limit), which has been also indicated by field measurements. The concentrations of some contaminants such as iron, manganese or sulfate are significantly reduced with the remediation approach, compared to those representative concentrations found in mine tailings. Moreover, results suggest a very reliable long-term stability of the remediation (i.e. neutral pH conditions are maintained), thus enhancing the generation of iron precipitates that could produce pyrite grain coating and hardpan (i.e. cemented layer) on the surface. These processes also made the amended layer less porous, thus increasing water retention and hindering oxygen diffusion.

  1. Comparison of limestone, dolomite and fly ash as pre-treatment agents for acid mine drainage

    Potgieter-Vermaak, S.S.; Potgieter, J.H.; Monama, P.; Van Grieken, R. [Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria (South Africa). Dept. of Chemistry

    2006-04-15

    The physical, chemical and biological nature of Vaal Dam water, the main source of water in Gauteng, South Africa, is often affected by underground water pollution (acid mine water) and industrial effluents. The ecological significance and detrimental effects necessitate investigations into treating the water prior to discharge into public streams. In this investigation, limestone, dolomite and fly ash were selected as pre-treatment agents based on their low cost. Simulated acid mine water containing these agents was tested using a Jar Test apparatus. Samples were analyzed before and after treatment for pH, ferrous, ferric, calcium, magnesium and sulphate ions. The study demonstrated that the quality of the water improved with an increase in the amount and surface area of the raw material dosed and an increase in contact time. It was also influenced by the chemical composition of the acid mine water and aeration. Chemical cost savings of 38% are achieved when lime is replaced with limestone, and cost savings of 23% and 48% can be accomplished when limestone is substituted with dolomite and fly ash respectively. This could result in significant savings to the gold and coal mining industries, and could lead to a mutual benefit/gain between industrialists/polluters and the public.

  2. Benthic Communities of Low-Order Streams Affected by Acid Mine Drainages: A Case Study from Central Europe

    Marek Svitok

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Only little attention has been paid to the impact of acid mine drainages (AMD on aquatic ecosystems in Central Europe. In this study, we investigate the physico-chemical properties of low-order streams and the response of benthic invertebrates to AMD pollution in the Banská Štiavnica mining region (Slovakia. The studied streams showed typical signs of mine drainage pollution: higher conductivity, elevated iron, aluminum, zinc and copper loads and accumulations of ferric precipitates. Electric conductivity correlated strongly with most of the investigated elements (weighted mean absolute correlation = 0.95 and, therefore, can be recommended as a good proxy indicator for rapid AMD pollution assessments. The diversity and composition of invertebrate assemblages was related to water chemistry. Taxa richness decreased significantly along an AMD-intensity gradient. While moderately affected sites supported relatively rich assemblages, the harshest environmental conditions (pH < 2.5 were typical for the presence of a limited number of very tolerant taxa, such as Oligochaeta and some Diptera (Limnophyes, Forcipomyiinae. The trophic guild structure correlated significantly with AMD chemistry, whereby predators completely disappeared under the most severe AMD conditions. We also provide a brief review of the AMD literature and outline the needs for future detailed studies involving functional descriptors of the impact of AMD on aquatic ecosystems.

  3. Organic substrates as electron donors in permeable reactive barriers for removal of heavy metals from acid mine drainage.

    Kijjanapanich, P; Pakdeerattanamint, K; Lens, P N L; Annachhatre, A P

    2012-12-01

    This research was conducted to select suitable natural organic substrates as potential carbon sources for use as electron donors for biological sulphate reduction in a permeable reactive barrier (PRB). A number of organic substrates were assessed through batch and continuous column experiments under anaerobic conditions with acid mine drainage (AMD) obtained from an abandoned lignite coal mine. To keep the heavy metal concentration at a constant level, the AMD was supplemented with heavy metals whenever necessary. Under anaerobic conditions, sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) converted sulphate into sulphide using the organic substrates as electron donors. The sulphide that was generated precipitated heavy metals as metal sulphides. Organic substrates, which yielded the highest sulphate reduction in batch tests, were selected for continuous column experiments which lasted over 200 days. A mixture of pig-farm wastewater treatment sludge, rice husk and coconut husk chips yielded the best heavy metal (Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn) removal efficiencies of over 90%. PMID:23437664

  4. Diversity and Distribution of Arsenic-Related Genes Along a Pollution Gradient in a River Affected by Acid Mine Drainage.

    Desoeuvre, Angélique; Casiot, Corinne; Héry, Marina

    2016-04-01

    Some microorganisms have the capacity to interact with arsenic through resistance or metabolic processes. Their activities contribute to the fate of arsenic in contaminated ecosystems. To investigate the genetic potential involved in these interactions in a zone of confluence between a pristine river and an arsenic-rich acid mine drainage, we explored the diversity of marker genes for arsenic resistance (arsB, acr3.1, acr3.2), methylation (arsM), and respiration (arrA) in waters characterized by contrasted concentrations of metallic elements (including arsenic) and pH. While arsB-carrying bacteria were representative of pristine waters, Acr3 proteins may confer to generalist bacteria the capacity to cope with an increase of contamination. arsM showed an unexpected wide distribution, suggesting biomethylation may impact arsenic fate in contaminated aquatic ecosystems. arrA gene survey suggested that only specialist microorganisms (adapted to moderately or extremely contaminated environments) have the capacity to respire arsenate. Their distribution, modulated by water chemistry, attested the specialist nature of the arsenate respirers. This is the first report of the impact of an acid mine drainage on the diversity and distribution of arsenic (As)-related genes in river waters. The fate of arsenic in this ecosystem is probably under the influence of the abundance and activity of specific microbial populations involved in different As biotransformations. PMID:26603631

  5. Leaf Associated Microbial Activities in a Stream Affected by Acid Mine Drainage

    Schlief, Jeanette

    2004-11-01

    Microbial activity was assessed on birch leaves and plastic strips during 140 days of exposure at three sites in an acidic stream of the Lusatian post-mining landscape, Germany. The sites differed in their degrees of ochre deposition and acidification. The aim of the study was (1) to follow the microbial activities during leaf colonization, (2) to compare the effect of different environmental conditions on leaf associated microbial activities, and (3) to test the microbial availability of leaf litter in acidic mining waters. The activity peaked after 49 days and subsequently decreased gradually at all sites. A formation of iron plaques on leaf surfaces influenced associated microbial activity. It seemed that these plaques inhibit the microbial availability of leaf litter and serve as a microbial habitat by itself. (

  6. Immobilization of Arsenite and Ferric Iron by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and Its Relevance to Acid Mine Drainage

    Duquesne, K.; Lebrun, S.; Casiot, C.; Bruneel, O.; Personné, J.-C.; LeBlanc, M.; Elbaz-Poulichet, F.; Morin, G.; Bonnefoy, V.

    2003-01-01

    Weathering of the As-rich pyrite-rich tailings of the abandoned mining site of Carnoulès (southeastern France) results in the formation of acid waters heavily loaded with arsenic. Dissolved arsenic present in the seepage waters precipitates within a few meters from the bottom of the tailing dam in the presence of microorganisms. An Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans strain, referred to as CC1, was isolated from the effluents. This strain was able to remove arsenic from a defined synthetic medium ...

  7. Diversity and spatiotemporal dynamics of bacterial communities : physicochemical and other drivers along an acid mine drainage

    Volant, A; Bruneel, Odile; Desoeuvre, A.; Hery, M; Casiot, C.; Bru, N.; Delpoux, S.; Fahy, A.; Javerliat, F.; Bouchez, O.; Duran, R.; Bertin, P. N.; Elbaz-Poulichet, F.; Lauga, B.

    2014-01-01

    Deciphering the biotic and abiotic factors that control microbial community structure over time and along an environmental gradient is a pivotal question in microbial ecology. Carnoules mine (France), which is characterized by acid waters and very high concentrations of arsenic, iron, and sulfate, provides an excellent opportunity to study these factors along the pollution gradient of Reigous Creek. To this end, biodiversity and spatiotemporal distribution of bacterial communities were charac...

  8. Characterization of water reservoirs affected by acid mine drainage: geochemical, mineralogical, and biological (diatoms) properties of the water.

    Valente, T; Rivera, M J; Almeida, S F P; Delgado, C; Gomes, P; Grande, J A; de la Torre, M L; Santisteban, M

    2016-04-01

    This work presents a combination of geochemical, mineralogical, and biological data obtained in water reservoirs located in one of the most paradigmatic mining regions, suffering from acid mine drainage (AMD) problems: the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB). Four water reservoirs located in the Spanish sector of the IBP, storing water for different purposes, were selected to achieve an environmental classification based on the effects of AMD: two mining dams (Gossan and Águas Ácidas), a reservoir for industrial use (Sancho), and one with water used for human supply (Andévalo). The results indicated that the four reservoirs are subject to the effect of metallic loads from polluted rivers, although with different levels: Águas Ácidas > Gossan > Sancho ≥ Andévalo. In accordance, epipsammic diatom communities have differences in the respective composition and dominant taxa. The dominant diatoms in each reservoir indicated acid water: Pinnularia acidophila and Pinnularia aljustrelica were found in the most acidic dams (Gossan and Águas Ácidas, with pH <3), Pinnularia subcapitata in Sancho (pH 2.48-5.82), and Eunotia exigua in Andévalo (pH 2.34-6.15). PMID:26032451

  9. Spatial and Temporal Analysis of the Microbial Community in the Tailings of a Pb-Zn Mine Generating Acidic Drainage ▿ †

    Huang, Li-Nan; Zhou, Wen-Hua; Hallberg, Kevin B.; Wan, Cai-Yun; Li, Jie; Shu, Wen-Sheng

    2011-01-01

    Analysis of spatial and temporal variations in the microbial community in the abandoned tailings impoundment of a Pb-Zn mine revealed distinct microbial populations associated with the different oxidation stages of the tailings. Although Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and Leptospirillum spp. were consistently present in the acidic tailings, acidophilic archaea, mostly Ferroplasma acidiphilum, were predominant in the oxidized zones and the oxidation front, indicating their importance to generation of acid mine drainage. PMID:21705549

  10. Spatio-Temporal Detection of the Thiomonas Population and the Thiomonas Arsenite Oxidase Involved in Natural Arsenite Attenuation Processes in the Carnoulès Acid Mine Drainage

    Hovasse, Agnès; Bruneel, Odile; Casiot, Corinne; Desoeuvre, Angélique; Farasin, Julien; Hery, Marina; Van Dorsselaer, Alain; Carapito, Christine; Arsène-Ploetze, Florence

    2016-01-01

    The acid mine drainage (AMD) impacted creek of the Carnoulès mine (Southern France) is characterized by acid waters with a high heavy metal content. The microbial community inhabiting this AMD was extensively studied using isolation, metagenomic and metaproteomic methods, and the results showed that a natural arsenic (and iron) attenuation process involving the arsenite oxidase activity of several Thiomonas strains occurs at this site. A sensitive quantitative Selected Reaction Monitoring (SR...

  11. Biosorption of Fe, Al and Mn of acid drainage from coal mine using brown seaweed sargassum sp. in continuous process

    The acid mine drainage (AMD) are leaches as result of a coal mining running, it have low ph and high concentrations of heavy metals that convert them in strong polluter; with the purpose of reduce its concentration, a continuous biosorption system was designed by removing heavy metals from drainages using a cheap biosorbent material. The brown seaweed was pre-treatment with solutions 0,1 N of NaOH, Ca(OH)2 NaCl, CaCl2, NaSO4 y H2SO4 for to study the effect on biosorption process; the removal percentage were determined, which are better than 80% with the exception of pre-treatment with H2SO4 who cancel the algae sorption capacity. The seaweed was packed in plastic mesh and polyester tulle in the shape of a rectangular prism; there isn't effect on the biosorption process by using this packet. The continuous biosorption process was studied in two units of operation: a packed-bed flow-through sorption column and an horizontal vessel like a canal with baffles, which treated adequately 3,5 and 4,71 of AMD respectively, using in each one of them 100 g of algae. The burning of algae was studied like an alternative for the problem of handling of residual algae. The ashes kept the metals removed from AMD, furthermore keep stable too by the attack of solutions of different pH

  12. Use of man-made impoundment in mitigating acid mine drainage in the North Branch Potomac River

    The US Department of the Army, Baltimore District Corps of Engineers, oversees a long-term monitoring study to assess and evaluate effects of the Jennings-Randolph reservoir on biota in the North Branch Potomac River. The reservoir was intended, in part, to mitigate effects of acid mine drainage originating in upstream and headwater area. The present study assessed recovery of benthos and fish in this system, six years after completion of the reservoir. Higher pH and lower iron and sulfate concentrations were observed upstream of the reservoir compared to preimpoundment conditions, suggesting better overall water quality in the upper North Branch. Water quality improved slightly directly downstream of the reservoir. However, the reservoir itself was poorly colonized by macrophytes and benthic organisms, and plankton composition suggested either metal toxicity and/or nutrient limitation. One large tributary to the North Branch and the reservoir (Stony River) was shown to have high (and possibly toxic) levels of manganese, iron, zinc, and aluminum due to subsurface coal mine drainage. Macroinvertebrate diversity and number of taxa were higher in sites downstream of the reservoir in the present study. Compared with previous years, the present study suggested relatively rapid recovery in the lower North Branch due to colonization from two major unimpacted tributaries in this system: Savage River and South Branch Potomac. Fish data were consistent with macroinvertebrate results, but site-to-site variation in species composition was greater. Results show that recovery of biota in the North Branch Potomac was attributed to decreased acid inputs from mining operations and dilution from the Savage River, which contributed better water quality. Continued improvement of North Branch Potomac biota may not be expected unless additional mitigation attempts, either within the reservoir or upstream, are undertaken

  13. Hydrological modeling of a watershed affected by acid mine drainage (Odiel River, SW Spain). Assessment of the pollutant contributing areas

    Galván, L.; Olías, M.; Cánovas, C. R.; Sarmiento, A. M.; Nieto, J. M.

    2016-09-01

    The Odiel watershed drains materials belonging to the Iberian Pyrite Belt, where significant massive sulfide deposits have been mined historically. As a result, a huge amount of sulfide-rich wastes are deposited in the watershed, which suffer from oxidation, releasing acidic lixiviates with high sulfate and metal concentrations. In order to reliably estimate the metal loadings along the watershed a complete series of discharge and hydrochemical data are essential. A hydrological model was performed with SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) to solve the scarcity of gauge stations along the watershed. The model was calibrated and validated from daily discharge data (from 1980 to 2010) at the outlet of the watershed, river inputs into an existent reservoir, and a flow gauge station close to the northern area of the watershed. Discharge data obtained from the hydrological model, together with analytical data, allowed the estimation of the dissolved pollutant load delivered annually by the Odiel River (e.g. 9140 t of Al, 2760 t of Zn). The pollutant load is influenced strongly by the rainfall regime, and can even double during extremely rainy years. Around 50% of total pollution comes from the Riotinto Mining District, so the treatment of Riotinto lixiviates reaching the Odiel watershed would reduce the AMD (Acid Mine Drainages) in a remarkable way, improving the water quality downstream, especially in the reservoir of Alcolea, currently under construction. The information obtained in this study will allow the optimization of remediation efforts in the watershed, in order to improve its water quality.

  14. Removal of heavy metals from acid mine drainage (AMD) using coal fly ash, natural clinker and synthetic zeolites.

    Ríos, C A; Williams, C D; Roberts, C L

    2008-08-15

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a widespread environmental problem associated with both working and abandoned mining operations, resulting from the microbial oxidation of pyrite in presence of water and air, affording an acidic solution that contains toxic metal ions. The generation of AMD and release of dissolved heavy metals is an important concern facing the mining industry. The present study aimed at evaluating the use of low-cost sorbents like coal fly ash, natural clinker and synthetic zeolites to clean-up AMD generated at the Parys Mountain copper-lead-zinc deposit, Anglesey (North Wales), and to remove heavy metals and ammonium from AMD. pH played a very important role in the sorption/removal of the contaminants and a higher adsorbent ratio in the treatment of AMD promoted the increase of the pH, particularly using natural clinker-based faujasite (7.70-9.43) and the reduction of metal concentration. Na-phillipsite showed a lower efficiency as compared to that of faujasite. Selectivity of faujasite for metal removal was, in decreasing order, Fe>As>Pb>Zn>Cu>Ni>Cr. Based on these results, the use of these materials has the potential to provide improved methods for the treatment of AMD. PMID:18221835

  15. Archaeal diversity in a Fe-As rich acid mine drainage at Carnoules (France)

    Bruneel, Odile; Pascault, N.; Egal, M; Bancon-Montigny, C.; Goni-urriza, M. S.; Elbaz Poulichet, F.; Personne, J. C.; Duran, R.

    2008-01-01

    The acid waters (pH = 2.73-3.4) that originate from the Carnoules mine tailings (France) are known for their very high concentrations of As (up to 10,000 mg l(-1)) and Fe (up to 20,000 mg l(-1)). To analyze the composition of the archaeal community, (their temporal variation inside the tailing and spatial variations all along the Reigous Creek, which drains the site), seven 16S rRNA gene libraries were constructed. Clone analysis revealed that all the sequences were affiliated to the phylum E...

  16. Occurrence, properties and pollution potential of environmental minerals in acid mine drainage.

    Valente, T Maria; Leal Gomes, C

    2009-01-15

    This paper describes the occurrences, the mineralogical assemblages and the environmental relevance of the AMD-precipitates from the abandoned mine of Valdarcas, Northern Portugal. At this mining site, these precipitates are particularly related with the chemical speciation of iron, which is in according to the abundance of mine wastes enriched in pyrrhotite and pyrite. The more relevant supergene mineralogical assemblages include the following environmental minerals: soluble metal-salts, mainly sulphates, revealing seasonal behaviour, iron-hydroxysulphates and iron-oxyhydroxides, both forming ochre precipitates of poorly and well-crystalline minerals. Pollution potential of the most highly water soluble salts was analysed in order to evaluate the environmental effect of their dissolution by rainfall. Laboratory experiments, carried out with iron and aluminium sulphates, demonstrated the facility to release metals, sulphate and acidity upon dissolution. Regarding the ochre precipitates, composed by several less soluble iron (III)-minerals, the spatial distribution on the nearby aqueous system as well as the proportion of Jarosite, Schwertmannite and Goethite in the mixtures gave information about the halo's contamination promoted by the AMD emerging from the waste-dumps. PMID:19004477

  17. Acid mine drainage prevention, control and treatment technology development for the Stockett/Sand Coulee area. Topical report, March 1, 1995 - March 31, 1996

    The project was initiated to assist the State of Montana to develop a methodology to ameliorate acid mine drainage problems associated with the abandoned mines located in the Stockett/Sand Coulee area near Great Falls, Montana. Extremely acidic water is continuously discharging from abandoned coal mines in the Stockett/Sand Coulee area at an estimated rate of greater than 600 acre-feet per year (about 350 to 400 gallons per minute). Due to its extreme acidity, the water is unusable and is contaminating other water supplies. Most of the local alluvial aquifers have been contaminated, and nearly 5% of the private wells that were tested in the area during the mid-1980's showed some degree of contamination. Significant government money has been spent replacing water supplies due to the magnitude of this problem. In addition, millions of dollars have been spent trying to remediate acid mine drainage occurring in this coal field. To date, the techniques used have focused on the management and containment of mine waters, rather than designing technologies that would prevent the formation of acid mine drainage

  18. Hydrogeochemical and mineralogical characteristics related to heavy metal attenuation in a stream polluted by acid mine drainage: a case study in Dabaoshan Mine, China.

    Zhao, Huarong; Xia, Beicheng; Qin, Jianqiao; Zhang, Jiaying

    2012-01-01

    Dabaoshan Mine, the largest mine in south China, has been developed since the 1970s. Acid mine drainage (AMD) discharged from the mine has caused severe environmental pollution and human health problems. In this article, chemical characteristics, mineralogy of ocher precipitations and heavy metal attenuation in the AMD are discussed based on physicochemical analysis, mineral analysis, sequential extraction experiments and hydrogeochemistry. The AMD chemical characteristics were determined from the initialwater composition, water-rock interactions and dissolved sulfide minerals in the mine tailings. The waters, affected and unaffected by AMD, were Ca-SO4 and Ca-HCO3 types, respectively. The affected water had a low pH, high SO4(2-) and high heavy metal content and oxidation as determined by the Fe2+/Fe3+ couple. Heavy metal and SO4(2-) contents of Hengshi River water decreased, while pH increased, downstream. Schwertmannite was the major mineral at the waste dump, while goethite and quartz were dominant at the tailings dam and streambed. Schwertmannite was transformed into goethite at the tailings dam and streambed. The sulfate ions of the secondary minerals changed from bidentate- to monodentate-complexes downstream. Fe-Mn oxide phases of Zn, Cd and Pb in sediments increased downstream. However, organic matter complexes of Cu in sediments increased further away from the tailings. Fe3+ mineral precipitates and transformations controlled the AMD water chemistry. PMID:23505864

  19. Acid mine drainage and its impact in the Black Creek watershed, Virginia

    A one-year study was conducted to determine the impacts of acid min drainage (AMD) on the Black Creek watershed in Wise County, Virginia. Water quality, metal content of sediment and water column, soil pH, macroinvertebrate assemblages, habitat assessment and toxicity testing were used to assess the impact in the watershed. A total of 22 sites in the creek and surrounding watershed were actively monitored. This included six primary sources of AMD. Conductivity measurements > 1,000 microhmos/cm were found at eight sites and pH was consistently below 6.0 at seven. Of six metals analyzed, magnesium was highest in the water column, ranging from 16.5 mg/L to 130 mg/L. Aluminum and iron were both elevated in the sediment with iron concentrations as high as 176,000 mg/kg. An increase in sediment metal concentrations was noted when progressing downstream in the creek. Of nine high wall and spoils areas sampled, soil pH was acidic in eight sites, ranging from 5.5 to 3.1. Macroinvertebrate assemblages and habitat assessment indicate that much of the creek is impacted by AMD or heavy siltation. Laboratory bioassays with Daphnia magna and Chironomus tentans have indicated both acute and chronic toxicity of water and sediment samples from selected sites within the creek. Potential recovery of the system is being addressed through a sediment purging study. Restoration options will be considered once the degree of impact is fully characterized

  20. Biomonitoring study of a constructed wetland site treating acid mine drainage. Research report, July 1990-June 1992

    Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) from an underground coal mine in the Jones Branch watershed in McCreary County, KY, substantially reduced water quality in Jones Branch. Downstream from the mine seeps, the pH was routinely below 4.5 and concentrations of most heavy metals, especially iron, were elevated. A cattail wetland (1,022 m2) was constructed on Jones Branch in 1989 to obviate the effects of the AMD. Monthly chemical monitoring was performed on the water from above, from below, and from the 26 cells within the wetland. Based on chemical monitoring, the wetland initially improved water quality, increasing the pH and removing substantial amounts of heavy metals. Beginning in the spring of 1991, water quality at the wetland outfall began to decline, and has not improved to date. To augment the chemical monitoring, a biomonitoring study was initiated in the spring of 1990. Acute 48-hr. static tests were conducted with newly hatched fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Median lethal concentration (LC50) values determined monthly reflects the decline in water quality at the outfall over time

  1. Monitoring the Extent of Contamination from Acid Mine Drainage in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Spain Using Hyperspectral Imagery

    Asuncion Riaza

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring mine waste from sulfide deposits by hyperspectral remote sensing can be used to predict surface water quality by quantitatively estimating acid drainage and metal contamination on a yearly basis. In addition, analysis of the mineralogy of surface crusts rich in soluble salts can provide a record of annual humidity and temperature. In fact, temporal monitoring of salt efflorescence from mine wastes at a mine site in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (Huelva, Spain has been achieved using hyperspectral airborne Hymap data. Furthermore, climate variability estimates are possible based on oxidation stages derived from well-known sequences of minerals, by tracing sulfide oxidation intensity using archive spectral libraries. Thus, airborne and spaceborne hyperspectral remote sensing data can be used to provide a short-term record of climate change, and represent a useful set of tools for assessing environmental geoindicators in semi-arid areas. Spectral and geomorphological indicators can be monitored on a regular basis through image processing, supported by field and laboratory spectral data. In fact, hyperspectral image analysis is one of the methods selected by the Joint Research Centre of the European Community (Ispra, Italy to study abandoned mine sites, in order to assess the enforcement of the European Mine Waste Directive (2006/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council 15 March 2006 on the management of waste from extractive industries (Official Journal of the European Union, 11 April 2006. The pyrite belt in Andalucia has been selected as one of the core mission test sites for the PECOMINES II program (Cracow, November 2005, using imaging spectroscopy; and this technique is expected to be implemented as a monitoring tool by the Environmental Net of Andalucía (REDIAM, Junta de Andalucía, Spain.

  2. BIOREMEDIATION FOR ACID MINE DRAINAGE: ORGANIC SOLID WASTE AS CARBON SOURCES FOR SULFATE-REDUCING BACTERIA: A REVIEW

    I. N. Jamil

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Biological sulfate reduction has been slowly replacing chemical unit processes to treat acid mine drainage (AMD. Bioremediations for AMD treatment are favored due to their low capital and maintenance cost. This paper describes the available AMD treatment, current SRB commercialization such as THIOPAQ® and BioSulphide® technologies, and also the factors and limitations faced. THIOPAQ® and BioSulphide® technologies use expensive carbon sources such as hydrogen as the electron donor. This paper discusses the possibility of organic solid waste as an alternative substrate as it is cheaper and abundant. A possible AMD treatment system setup was also proposed to test the efficiency of sulfate-reducing bacteria utilizing organic solid substrate.

  3. Isotope geochemistry of waters affected by acid mine drainage in old labour sites (SE, Spain).

    Pérez-Sirvent, Carmen; Martinez-Sanchez, Maria Jose; Garcia-Lorenzo, Maria Luz; Agudo, Ines; Hernandez-Cordoba, Manuel; Recio, Clemente

    2015-04-01

    The ore deposits of this zone have iron, lead and zinc as the main metal components. Iron is present in oxides, hydroxides, sulfides, sulfates, carbonates, and silicates; lead and zinc occur in sulfides (galena and sphalerite, respectively), carbonates, sulfates, and lead or zinc-bearing (manganese, iron) oxides. Mining started with the Romans and activity peaked in the second half of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century until the 1980's. From 1940 to 1957, mineral concentration was made by froth flotation and, prior to this, by gravimetric techniques. The mining wastes, or tailings, with a very fine particle size were deposited inland (tailings dams) and, since 1957, huge releases were made in directly the sea coast. The objective of this work was to evaluate processes affecting waters from abandoned mine sites by way of stable isotopic analysis, particularly H and O stable isotopes from water and S and O from dissolved sulfates. Several common chemical and physical processes, such as evaporation, water-rock interaction and mixing could alter water isotopic composition. Evaporation, which causes an enrichment in δD and δ18O in the residual water, is an important process in semiarid areas. The results obtained indicate that, for sites near the coast, waters are meteoric, and marine infiltration only takes place in the deepest layers near the shore or if water remains stagnated in sediments with low permeability. The main source of sulfate was the oxidation of sulfides, resulting in the liberation of acid, sulfate and metals. In order to assess the mechanism responsible for sulfide oxidation, the stoichiometric isotope balance model and the general isotope balance model were tested, suggesting that the oxidation via Fe3+ was predominant in the surface, and controlled by A. ferrooxidans, while at depth, sulfate reduction occurred.

  4. Formation of hydroxyl radical (sm-bulletOH) in illuminated surface waters contaminated with acidic mine drainage

    Formation rates and steady-state concentrations of hydroxyl radical (sm-bulletOH) in illuminated surface water samples collected in west-central Indiana that receive acidic mine drainage runoff are reported. Formation rates for sm-bulletOH in samples were measured by the addition of 1 x 10-3 M benzene prior to illuminate in order to effectively scavenge all of the sm-bulletOH formed, thereby yielding phenol. The sm-bulletOH formation rates were calculated from the measured phenol formation rates. Steady-state concentrations of sm-bulletOH were measured by the addition of 5 x 10-7 M nitrobenzene to the samples prior to illumination. Estimated sunlight sm-bulletOH formation rates range from 16 microM h-1 to 265 microM h-1. Estimated sunlight steady-state sm-bulletOH concentrations range from 6.7 x 10-15 to 4.0 x 10-12 M. Both the formation rates and steady-state concentrations for sm-bulletOH are thus two to three orders of magnitude higher than values reported in the literature for other sunlit surface water samples. Due to the very high rates of formation and steady-state concentrations for sm-bulletOH in these samples, the authors conclude that aqueous-phase reactions involving sm-bulletOH represent a significant pathway by which organic pollutants in illuminated surface waters receiving acidic mine drainage runoff may be consumed

  5. Remediation of acid mine drainage at the friendship hill national historic site with a pulsed limestone bed process

    Sibrell, P.L.; Watten, B.; Boone, T.

    2003-01-01

    A new process utilizing pulsed fluidized limestone beds was tested for the remediation of acid mine drainage at the Friendship Hill National Historic Site, in southwestern Pennsylvania. A 230 liter-per-minute treatment system was constructed and operated over a fourteen-month period from June 2000 through September 2001. Over this period of time, 50,000 metric tons of limestone were used to treat 50 million liters of water. The influent water pH was 2.5 and acidity was 1000 mg/L as CaCO3. Despite the high potential for armoring at the site, effluent pH during normal plant operation ranged from 5.7 to 7.8 and averaged 6.8. As a result of the high influent acidity, sufficient CO2 was generated and recycled to provide a net alkaline discharge with about 50 mg/L as CaCO3 alkalinity. Additions of commercial CO2 increased effluent alkalinity to as high as 300 mg/L, and could be a useful process management tool for transient high flows or acidities. Metal removal rates were 95% for aluminum (60 mg/L in influent), 50 to 90% for iron (Fe), depending on the ratio of ferrous to ferric iron, which varied seasonally (200 mg/L in influent), and process in treatment of acid impaired waters that were previously not amenable to low cost limestone treatment.

  6. Weathering behaviour of overburden-coal ash blending in relation to overburden management for acid mine drainage prevention in coal surface mine

    Potentially acid forming (PAF) materials are encapsulated with non-acid forming materials (NAF) in order to prevent acid mine drainage (AMD) in surface coal mines. NAF compaction techniques with fly and bottom ashes from coal-fired power plants are used in mines with limited amounts of NAF materials. This study investigated the weathering behaviour of blended overburden and coal combustion ash in laboratory conditions. Free draining column leach tests were conducted on different blending schemes. The weathering process was simulated by spraying the samples with de-ionized water once per day. The leachates were then analyzed using X-ray diffraction and fluorescence analyses in order to identify the mineral composition of the samples over a 14 week period. Results of the study indicated that the weathering process plays a significant role in controlling infiltration rates, and may increase the capability of capping materials to prevent infiltration into PAF materials. Fly- and bottom-ash additions improved the performance of the encapsulation materials. 3 refs., 4 tabs., 2 figs.

  7. Behaviour of U-Series Radionuclides in an Estuary Affected by Acid Mine Drainage and Industrial Releases

    The estuary formed by the Tinto and Odiel rivers is an ecosystem of great interest because it is seriously affected by the acid mine drainage (AMD) produced by the high mining activity in the watersheds of these rivers, generating in their waters an extremely low pH (2.5- 3.5), and consequently high concentrations of heavy metals and natural radionuclides in dissolution. Secondly, in their estuary there is a large chemical industrial complex, and in particular two phosphoric acid production plants, which use a sedimentary phosphate rock from Morocco as raw material containing at approximately 1.5 Bq/g of U-series radionuclides, which produce annually about 2.5-3 millions of tonnes of a byproduct, called phosphogypsum (PG). PG contains high concentrations of some U-series radionuclides as 226Ra (650 Bq/kg), 210Pb-210Po (600 Bq/kg) or 230Th (450 Bq/kg). Seventeen sampling stations along the end of these rivers and this estuary were selected to study the behaviour of U-series radionuclides in the recent surface sediments and its waters. The most relevant results show a non-conservative behaviour of Uisotopes, precipitating in the zone where large pH changes (3-5) are produced. This behaviour is different from the majority of typical estuaries where only salinity changes are produced, and therefore, a conservative behaviour of uranium is observed. (author)

  8. Strontium isotope quantification of siderite, brine and acid mine drainage contributions to abandoned gas well discharges in the Appalachian Plateau

    Chapman, Elizabeth C. [Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States). Dept. of Geology and Planetary Science; Capo, Rosemary C. [Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States). Dept. of Geology and Planetary Science; Stewart, Brian W. [Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States). Dept. of Geology and Planetary Science; Hedin, Robert S. [Hedin Environmental, Pittsburgh, PA (United States); Weaver, Theodore J. [Hedin Environmental, Pittsburgh, PA (United States); Edenborn, Harry M. [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, (United States)

    2013-04-01

    Unplugged abandoned oil and gas wells in the Appalachian region can serve as conduits for the movement of waters impacted by fossil fuel extraction. Strontium isotope and geochemical analysis indicate that artesian discharges of water with high total dissolved solids (TDS) from a series of gas wells in western Pennsylvania result from the infiltration of acidic, low Fe (Fe < 10 mg/L) coal mine drainage (AMD) into shallow, siderite (iron carbonate)-cemented sandstone aquifers. The acidity from the AMD promotes dissolution of the carbonate, and metal- and sulfate-contaminated waters rise to the surface through compromised abandoned gas well casings. Strontium isotope mixing models suggest that neither upward migration of oil and gas brines from Devonian reservoirs associated with the wells nor dissolution of abundant nodular siderite present in the mine spoil through which recharge water percolates contribute significantly to the artesian gas well discharges. Natural Sr isotope composition can be a sensitive tool in the characterization of complex groundwater interactions and can be used to distinguish between inputs from deep and shallow contamination sources, as well as between groundwater and mineralogically similar but stratigraphically distinct rock units. This is of particular relevance to regions such as the Appalachian Basin, where a legacy of coal, oil and gas exploration is coupled with ongoing and future natural gas drilling into deep reservoirs.

  9. Adsorption of copper, cadmium and zinc on suspended sediments in a stream contaminated by acid mine drainage: The effect of seasonal changes in dissolved organic carbon

    The release of metal-rich, acidic waters from abandoned mining operations is a major problem in Colorado and throughout the Western United States. In Colorado, over 600 km of stream reach are estimated to be affected by such releases (Wentz, 1974). The metals released adversely affect stream biota, including fish. It is therefore important to understand the chemical processes which influence metal transport in these waters. The report details studies of the role of suspended sediments with respect to the transport of several important trace metals in a stream impacted by acid mine drainage. The role of streambed sediments was studied in the same system as part of an earlier project (Acid Mine Drainage: streambed sorption of copper, cadmium and zinc, PB--93-118263)

  10. Generation of acid mine drainage around the Karaerik copper mine (Espiye, Giresun, NE Turkey): implications from the bacterial population in the Acısu effluent.

    Sağlam, Emine Selva; Akçay, Miğraç; Çolak, Dilşat Nigar; İnan Bektaş, Kadriye; Beldüz, Ali Osman

    2016-09-01

    The Karaerik Cu mine is a worked-out deposit with large volumes of tailings and slags which were left around the mine site without any protection. Natural feeding of these material and run-off water from the mineralised zones into the Acısu effluent causes a serious environmental degradation and creation of acid mine drainage (AMD) along its entire length. This research aims at modelling the formation of AMD with a specific attempt on the characterisation of the bacterial population in association with AMD and their role on its occurrence. Based on 16SrRNA analyses of the clones obtained from a composite water sample, the bacterial community was determined to consist of Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans, Ferrovum myxofaciens, Leptospirillum ferrooxidans and Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans as iron-oxidising bacteria, Acidocella facilis, Acidocella aluminiidurans, Acidiphilium cryptum and Acidiphilium multivorum as iron-reducing bacteria, and Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Acidiphilium cryptum as sulphur-oxidising bacteria. This association of bacteria with varying roles was interpreted as evidence of a concomitant occurrence of sulphur and iron cycles during the generation of AMD along the Acısu effluent draining the Karaerik mine. PMID:27338270

  11. Evaluation of the effects of water hardness and chemical pollutants on the zooplankton community in uranium mining lakes with acid mine drainage

    Nascimento, H.; Ferrari, C.; Nascimento, M.R. [Brazilian Nulcear Energy Commission/Pocos de Caldas Laboratory (Brazil); Rodgher, S. [Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita Filho/Science and Technology Institute (Brazil); Wisniewski, M.J. [Alfenas Federal University/Limnology Laboratory (Brazil)

    2014-07-01

    Several mining lakes are characterized by the inorganic pollution of its waters, known as acid mine drainage (AMD). The current study was developed in order to evaluate the effect of water hardness and chemical pollutants on the richness and density of the zoo-planktonic community species. A seasonal study was conducted in a uranium mining lake affected by AMD. In environmental conditions of extremely high hardness water values (960.3 to 1284,9 mg/l), zoo-planktonic species have indicated resistance to the combined effect of elevated average concentrations of chemical pollutants such as Al (81.9 mg/l), Zn (15.5 mg/l), Mn (102.8 mg/l), U (2.9 mg/l) and low pH values (average = 3.8). Thus, in environments of extreme chemical conditions, such as a uranium mining lake affected by AMD, the hardness showed to be the best predictor of the zoo-planktonic community richness, indicating a protective effect of ions Ca{sup +2} over in special to Bosminopsis deitersi, Bosmina sp., Keratella americana and K. cochlearis. Document available in abstract form only. (authors)

  12. Evaluation of the effects of water hardness and chemical pollutants on the zooplankton community in uranium mining lakes with acid mine drainage

    Several mining lakes are characterized by the inorganic pollution of its waters, known as acid mine drainage (AMD). The current study was developed in order to evaluate the effect of water hardness and chemical pollutants on the richness and density of the zoo-planktonic community species. A seasonal study was conducted in a uranium mining lake affected by AMD. In environmental conditions of extremely high hardness water values (960.3 to 1284,9 mg/l), zoo-planktonic species have indicated resistance to the combined effect of elevated average concentrations of chemical pollutants such as Al (81.9 mg/l), Zn (15.5 mg/l), Mn (102.8 mg/l), U (2.9 mg/l) and low pH values (average = 3.8). Thus, in environments of extreme chemical conditions, such as a uranium mining lake affected by AMD, the hardness showed to be the best predictor of the zoo-planktonic community richness, indicating a protective effect of ions Ca+2 over in special to Bosminopsis deitersi, Bosmina sp., Keratella americana and K. cochlearis. Document available in abstract form only. (authors)

  13. Immobilization of arsenite and ferric iron by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and its relevance to acid mine drainage.

    Duquesne, K; Lebrun, S; Casiot, C; Bruneel, O; Personné, J-C; Leblanc, M; Elbaz-Poulichet, F; Morin, G; Bonnefoy, V

    2003-10-01

    Weathering of the As-rich pyrite-rich tailings of the abandoned mining site of Carnoulès (southeastern France) results in the formation of acid waters heavily loaded with arsenic. Dissolved arsenic present in the seepage waters precipitates within a few meters from the bottom of the tailing dam in the presence of microorganisms. An Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans strain, referred to as CC1, was isolated from the effluents. This strain was able to remove arsenic from a defined synthetic medium only when grown on ferrous iron. This A. ferrooxidans strain did not oxidize arsenite to arsenate directly or indirectly. Strain CC1 precipitated arsenic unexpectedly as arsenite but not arsenate, with ferric iron produced by its energy metabolism. Furthermore, arsenite was almost not found adsorbed on jarosite but associated with a poorly ordered schwertmannite. Arsenate is known to efficiently precipitate with ferric iron and sulfate in the form of more or less ordered schwertmannite, depending on the sulfur-to-arsenic ratio. Our data demonstrate that the coprecipitation of arsenite with schwertmannite also appears as a potential mechanism of arsenite removal in heavily contaminated acid waters. The removal of arsenite by coprecipitation with ferric iron appears to be a common property of the A. ferrooxidans species, as such a feature was observed with one private and three collection strains, one of which was the type strain. PMID:14532077

  14. Immobilization of Arsenite and Ferric Iron by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and Its Relevance to Acid Mine Drainage

    Duquesne, K.; Lebrun, S.; Casiot, C.; Bruneel, O.; Personné, J.-C.; Leblanc, M.; Elbaz-Poulichet, F.; Morin, G.; Bonnefoy, V.

    2003-01-01

    Weathering of the As-rich pyrite-rich tailings of the abandoned mining site of Carnoulès (southeastern France) results in the formation of acid waters heavily loaded with arsenic. Dissolved arsenic present in the seepage waters precipitates within a few meters from the bottom of the tailing dam in the presence of microorganisms. An Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans strain, referred to as CC1, was isolated from the effluents. This strain was able to remove arsenic from a defined synthetic medium only when grown on ferrous iron. This A. ferrooxidans strain did not oxidize arsenite to arsenate directly or indirectly. Strain CC1 precipitated arsenic unexpectedly as arsenite but not arsenate, with ferric iron produced by its energy metabolism. Furthermore, arsenite was almost not found adsorbed on jarosite but associated with a poorly ordered schwertmannite. Arsenate is known to efficiently precipitate with ferric iron and sulfate in the form of more or less ordered schwertmannite, depending on the sulfur-to-arsenic ratio. Our data demonstrate that the coprecipitation of arsenite with schwertmannite also appears as a potential mechanism of arsenite removal in heavily contaminated acid waters. The removal of arsenite by coprecipitation with ferric iron appears to be a common property of the A. ferrooxidans species, as such a feature was observed with one private and three collection strains, one of which was the type strain. PMID:14532077

  15. Polonium behaviour in reservoirs potentially affected by acid mine drainage (AMD) in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW of Spain).

    Blasco, M; Gázquez, M J; Pérez-Moreno, S M; Grande, J A; Valente, T; Santisteban, M; de la Torre, M L; Bolívar, J P

    2016-02-01

    The province of Huelva is one of the areas most affected by acid mine drainage (AMD) in the world, which can produce big enhancements and fractionations in the waters affected by AMD. There are very few studies on this issue, and none on polonium-210. Twenty-two water reservoirs were sampled, and the (210)Po was measured in both dissolution and particulate phases. The (210)Po concentrations in the waters were in the same order of magnitude to those ones for unperturbed systems, although the data published to particulate matter are very scarce. A mean value and standard uncertainty for (210)Po of 0.25 ± 0.03 mBq L(-1) in the dissolved matter, and 62 ± 9 mBq g(-1) in the particulate matter can be established as base line for the reservoirs of the Huelva area. The distribution coefficients (kd) range from 10(4) to 10(6) L kg(-1), in agreement to the found ones by other authors for the case of neutral waters, but being the lowest values for the more acidic reservoirs. It has been also found that (210)Po has a high tendency to be associated to the particulate matter for neutral-alkaline waters, however, under extreme acid conditions (pH waters of reservoirs, but the acidity has a clear influence on its distribution between both dissolved and the particulate phases. PMID:26650826

  16. Isotope geochemistry of drainage from an acid mine impaired watershed, Oakland, California

    Oxidation of sulfides at the Leona Heights Sulfur Mine has resulted in the liberation of acid, SO4 and metals to Leona Creek. Previous research at the site has indicated Fe(II) oxidation at rates faster than would be predicted by abiotic oxidation alone, particularly in the segment of stream between the Adit and Leona Street sample stations. In order to assess the mechanisms responsible for sulfide oxidation, samples were collected for isotopic analysis of water and SO4, the results of which were used to develop a stoichiometric isotope-balance model. This exercise indicated that the percentage of water-derived oxygen in SO4 increased spatially from between 56% and 64% at the Adit to between 71% and 72% at Leona Street, illustrating that increased sulfide oxidation via Fe(III) was occurring within, or as water flows over, the waste rock, relative to water emanating directly from the former mine. The incorporation of water-derived oxygen in SO4 during pyrite oxidation is a process controlled by Fe oxidizing bacteria such as A. ferrooxidans at low pH. The role of bacteria was further supported by estimates of the rate constant for Fe oxidation between sampling stations, yielding values that were approximately 106 faster than abiotic Fe oxidation alone. Stable isotopic analysis of water further indicates a close correlation of adit spring water to the local meteoric water line, while 3H data indicate a groundwater apparent age, or time of travel from its primary zone of recharge, of 34S data, in conjunction with reported albitized feldspars within the Leona Rhyolite host rock, indicate a magmatic origin of ore sulfur, contrary to previous interpretations at the site

  17. The development of bio-carbon adsorbents from Lodgepole Pine to remediate acid mine drainage in the Rocky Mountains

    Activated carbon adsorbents were produced from biomass locally available in the Rocky Mountain West, e.g. Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta), by vacuum pyrolysis at moderate temperatures followed by steam activation, for use as metal adsorbents for acid mine drainage (AMD). Wood cubes from fresh cut Lodgepole Pine (P. contorta) with different sizes, 3 and 12 mm, were made. Sawdust was also used to study the effect of sample size as well as sample material. We applied chemical pretreatment with potassium hydroxide before charring to improve the quality of the activated carbons. We compared the characteristics of the activated carbons, which were chemically pretreated, before and after washing with water. After washing, the BET surface area was found to increase and diffuse reflectance infrared spectroscopy showed changes in the carbon matrix. We then tested the samples for metal adsorption from AMD sampled from AMD sites in Colorado, Clear Creek County and the Leadville mine drainage tunnel, along with a commercial activated carbon for comparison. We used a batch method to measure maximum metal adsorption of the activated carbons. The metals chosen to be monitored were copper, cadmium, manganese, nickel, lead, and zinc, because they are the principal metals of interest for the test areas, and metal concentrations were determined by ion coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy. The samples produced in this work outperformed the commercial activated carbon in two AMD water treatment tests and for the six metals monitored. This metal adsorption data indicate that locally produced inexpensive activated carbons can be used as adsorbents for AMD successfully

  18. Environmental assessment and management of metal-rich wastes generated in acid mine drainage passive remediation systems.

    Macías, Francisco; Caraballo, Manuel A; Nieto, José Miguel

    2012-08-30

    As acid mine drainage (AMD) remediation is increasingly faced by governments and mining industries worldwide, the generation of metal-rich solid residues from the treatments plants is concomitantly raising. A proper environmental management of these metal-rich wastes requires a detailed characterization of the metal mobility as well as an assessment of this new residues stability. The European standard leaching test EN 12457-2, the US EPA TCLP test and the BCR sequential extraction procedure were selected to address the environmental assessment of dispersed alkaline substrate (DAS) residues generated in AMD passive treatment systems. Significant discrepancies were observed in the hazardousness classification of the residues according to the TCLP or EN 12457-2 test. Furthermore, the absence of some important metals (like Fe or Al) in the regulatory limits employed in both leaching tests severely restricts their applicability for metal-rich wastes. The results obtained in the BCR sequential extraction suggest an important influence of the landfill environmental conditions on the metals released from the wastes. To ensure a complete stability of the pollutants in the studied DAS-wastes the contact with water or any other leaching solutions must be avoided and a dry environment needs to be provided in the landfill disposal selected. PMID:22717063

  19. Relationships between sources of acid mine drainage and the hydrochemistry of acid effluents during rainy season in the Iberian Pyrite Belt.

    Pérez-Ostalé, E; Grande, J A; Valente, T; de la Torre, M L; Santisteban, M; Fernández, P; Diaz-Curiel, J

    2016-01-01

    In the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB), southwest Spain, a prolonged and intense mining activity of more than 4,500 years has resulted in almost a hundred mines scattered through the region. After years of inactivity, these mines are still causing high levels of hydrochemical degradation in the fluvial network. This situation represents a unique scenario in the world, taking into consideration its magnitude and intensity of the contamination processes. In order to obtain a benchmark regarding the degree of acid mine drainage (AMD) pollution in the aquatic environment, the relationship between the areas occupied by the sulfide mines and the characteristics of the respective effluents after rainfall was analysed. The methodology developed, which includes the design of a sampling network, analytical treatment and cluster analysis, is a useful tool for diagnosing the contamination level by AMD in an entire metallogenic province, at the scale of each mining group. The results presented the relationship between sulfate, total dissolved solids and electrical conductivity, as well as other parameters that are typically associated with AMD and the major elements that compose the polymetallic sulfides of IPB. This analysis also indicates the low level of proximity between the affectation area and the other variables. PMID:26819390

  20. Inhibition of acid mine drainage and immobilization of heavy metals from copper flotation tailings using a marble cutting waste

    Gulsen Tozsin

    2016-01-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) with high concentrations of sulfates and metals is generated by the oxidation of sulfide bearing wastes. CaCO3-rich marble cutting waste is a residual material produced by the cutting and polishing of marble stone. In this study, the feasibility of using the marble cutting waste as an acid-neutralizing agent to inhibit AMD and immobilize heavy metals from copper flotation tailings (sul-fide-bearing wastes) was investigated. Continuous-stirring shake-flask tests were conducted for 40 d, and the pH value, sulfate content, and dissolved metal content of the leachate were analyzed every 10 d to determine the effectiveness of the marble cutting waste as an acid neu-tralizer. For comparison, CaCO3 was also used as a neutralizing agent. The average pH value of the leachate was 2.1 at the beginning of the experiment (t = 0). In the experiment employing the marble cutting waste, the pH value of the leachate changed from 6.5 to 7.8, and the sul-fate and iron concentrations decreased from 4558 to 838 mg/L and from 536 to 0.01 mg/L, respectively, after 40 d. The marble cutting waste also removed more than 80wt% of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) from AMD generated by copper flotation tailings.

  1. Enrichment of rare earth elements as environmental tracers of contamination by acid mine drainage in salt marshes: a new perspective.

    Delgado, Joaquín; Pérez-López, Rafael; Galván, Laura; Nieto, José Miguel; Boski, Tomasz

    2012-09-01

    Rare earth elements (REE) were analyzed in surface sediments from the Guadiana Estuary (SW Iberian Pyrite Belt). NASC (North American Shale Composite) normalized REE patterns show clearly convex curvatures in middle-REE (MREE) with respect to light- and heavy-REE, indicating acid-mixing processes between fluvial waters affected by acid mine drainage (AMD) and seawater. However, REE distributions in the mouth (closer to the coastal area) show slightly LREE-enriched and flat patterns, indicating saline-mixing processes typical of the coastal zone. NASC-normalized ratios (La/Gd and La/Yb) do not discriminate between both mixing processes in the estuary. Instead, a new parameter (E(MREE)) has been applied to measure the curvature in the MREE segment. The values of E(MREE)>0 are indicative of acid signatures and their spatial distribution reveal the existence of two decantation zones from flocculation processes related to drought periods and flood events. Studying REE fractionation through the E(MREE) may serve as a good proxy for AMD-pollution in estuarine environments in relation to the traditional methods. PMID:22748838

  2. Predicting the occurrence of acid mine drainage in the Alleghenian coal-bearing strata of western Pennsylvania

    This paper reports that simulated weathering experiments on coals and shales demonstrate that the critical factors responsible for the generation of acid mine drainage (AMD) are the amounts of total sulfur, total carbonate, and the surface area of the pyrite. Total sulfur and carbonate carbon contents differ markedly among paleoenvironments whose distribution has been mapped for the Alleghenian state of western Pennsylvania. Freshwater (Estheria-bearing) shales have a mean total sulfur content of 0.15 percent and a mean carbonate carbon content of 0.54 percent. Brackish (Lingula-bearing) shales have a mean total sulfur content of 2.40 percent and a mean carbonate carbon content of 0.14 percent. Marine (Chonetes-bearing) shales have a mean total sulfur content of 0.95 percent and a mean carbonate carbon content of 0.63 percent. In the simulated weathering experiments, the amount of acidity, sulfate, and total iron exhibit a well-defined positive linear relation with total sulfur in samples whose carbonate carbon content is ≤ 0.01 percent. Where carbonate carbon contents are >0.01 percent, the amount of acidity, sulfate, and total iron is considerably less, and the linear relation no longer exists

  3. Inhibition of acid mine drainage and immobilization of heavy metals from copper flotation tailings using a marble cutting waste

    Tozsin, Gulsen

    2016-01-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) with high concentrations of sulfates and metals is generated by the oxidation of sulfide bearing wastes. CaCO3-rich marble cutting waste is a residual material produced by the cutting and polishing of marble stone. In this study, the feasibility of using the marble cutting waste as an acid-neutralizing agent to inhibit AMD and immobilize heavy metals from copper flotation tailings (sulfide- bearing wastes) was investigated. Continuous-stirring shake-flask tests were conducted for 40 d, and the pH value, sulfate content, and dissolved metal content of the leachate were analyzed every 10 d to determine the effectiveness of the marble cutting waste as an acid neutralizer. For comparison, CaCO3 was also used as a neutralizing agent. The average pH value of the leachate was 2.1 at the beginning of the experiment ( t = 0). In the experiment employing the marble cutting waste, the pH value of the leachate changed from 6.5 to 7.8, and the sulfate and iron concentrations decreased from 4558 to 838 mg/L and from 536 to 0.01 mg/L, respectively, after 40 d. The marble cutting waste also removed more than 80wt% of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) from AMD generated by copper flotation tailings.

  4. Enrichment of rare earth elements as environmental tracers of contamination by acid mine drainage in salt marshes: A new perspective

    Rare earth elements (REE) were analyzed in surface sediments from the Guadiana Estuary (SW Iberian Pyrite Belt). NASC (North American Shale Composite) normalized REE patterns show clearly convex curvatures in middle-REE (MREE) with respect to light- and heavy-REE, indicating acid-mixing processes between fluvial waters affected by acid mine drainage (AMD) and seawater. However, REE distributions in the mouth (closer to the coastal area) show slightly LREE-enriched and flat patterns, indicating saline-mixing processes typical of the coastal zone. NASC-normalized ratios (La/Gd and La/Yb) do not discriminate between both mixing processes in the estuary. Instead, a new parameter (EMREE) has been applied to measure the curvature in the MREE segment. The values of EMREE > 0 are indicative of acid signatures and their spatial distribution reveal the existence of two decantation zones from flocculation processes related to drought periods and flood events. Studying REE fractionation through the EMREE may serve as a good proxy for AMD-pollution in estuarine environments in relation to the traditional methods.

  5. Current Performance of an Aerobic Passive Wetlands Treating Acid Mine Drainage Flow From Underground Mine Seals at Moraine State Park, Butler County, Pennsylvania

    Winter, J. A.; Fredrick, K.

    2008-12-01

    Coal mining was conducted in the area of Moraine State Park prior to the establishing the park and associated Lake Arthur. A total of 69 underground mine entries were sealed during the 1960's to the early 1970's along the proposed northern shore of Lake Arthur. Seals were constructed using a flyash/cement mixture that was pumped into boreholes to place bulkheads in the mine entries, then filling between the bulkheads, and injecting grout into the adjacent strata to form a grout curtain. During 1979 and 1980, a study was performed by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, to determine the long term effectiveness of the underground mine sealing and reclamation work. Not all seals were successful. One of these mine entry seals was leaking and depositing iron hydroxides on the shoreline. During 1995-96, a passive wetlands treatment system was designed and constructed to treat an acid mine drainage (amd) discharge emanating from one of these sealed mines. The system consists of a primary settling pond, a cattail vegetated pond, and a final polishing pond prior to discharge to Lake Arthur. The design life of the system was estimated at twelve years. After twelve years it was believed the precipitate in the ponds would need to be removed and the system rehabilitated to continue treating the amd discharge. A maintenance plan was considered, however only minimal maintaining of the area was implemented. Six sets of water quality samples were collected and analyzed for standard amd parameters of alkalinity, acidity, pH, iron, manganese, aluminum, sulfate, and total suspended solids. Precipitation data and flow rates were collected and an analysis was done to determine if flow varied seasonally. The water quality data was compared to flow and precipitation amounts. Sludge precipitate samples were collected from the first settling pond to estimate the deposition rate and to determine how long the ponds can continue to function before they would require

  6. Reconnaissance of Acid Drainage Sources and Preliminary Evaluation of Remedial Alternatives at the Copper Bluff Mine, Hoopa Valley Reservation, California

    Alpers, Charles N.; Hunerlach, Michael P.; Hamlin, Scott N.; Zierenberg, Robert A.

    2003-01-01

    Acidic drainage from the inactive Copper Bluff mine cascades down a steep embankment into the Trinity River, on the Hoopa Valley Reservation in northern California. The Copper Bluff mine produced about 100,000 tons of sulfide-bearing copper-zinc-gold-silver ore during 1957?1962. This report summarizes the results of a water-resources investigation begun by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1994 with the overall objective of gathering sufficient geochemical, hydrologic, and geologic information so that a sound remediation strategy for the Copper Bluff mine could be selected and implemented by the Hoopa Valley Tribe. This study had the following specific objectives: (1) monitor the quality and quantity of the mine discharge, (2) determine seasonal variability of metal concentrations and loads, (3) map and sample the underground mine workings to determine sources of flow and suitability of mine plugging options, and (4) analyze the likely consequences of various remediation and treatment options. Analysis of weekly water samples of adit discharge over parts of two wet seasons (January to July 1995 and October 1995 to May 1996) shows that dissolved copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) concentrations (in samples filtered with 0.20-micrometer membranes) varied systematically in a seasonal pattern. Metal concentrations increased dramatically in response to the first increase in discharge, or first flush, early in the wet season. The value of Zn/Cu in the adit discharge exhibited systematic seasonal variations; an annual Zn/Cu cycle was observed, beginning with values between 3 and 5 during the main part of the wet season, rising to values between 6 and 10 during the period of lowest discharge late in the dry season, and then dropping dramatically to values less than 3 during the first-flush period. Values of pH were fairly constant in the range of 3.1 to 3.8 throughout the wet season and into the beginning of the dry season, but rose to values between 4.5 and 5.6 during the period of

  7. Acid mine drainage abatement from small, buried piles of tipple refuse using fluidized bed fly ash grout

    Buried, pyrite-rich tipple refuse and pit cleanings on a reclaimed 37 acre surface coal mine site in Pennsylvania were found to be producing severe acid mine drainage (AMD). The pyritic material is located in discrete piles or pods in the backfill. The pods and the resulting contaminant plumes were initially defined using geophysical techniques and were confirmed by drilling. A fluidized bed combustion (FBC) fly ash was used as a grout in two different ways to isolate the pyritic material from water and oxygen, thus preventing AMD production. The first was pressure injecting grout directly into the buried pods to fill the void spaces within the pods and to coat the pyritic materials with a cementitious layer. Pods which would not accept the grout because of a clayey matrix were isolated from percolating water with a cap and trench seal of the grout. In certain areas, the AMD migrates to the groundwater table below the mine through fractures in the pit floor. The FBC ash grout was used in some of these areas in an attempt to seal the pit floor. A combination of geophysical mapping and monitoring wells is being used to monitor changes in the water quality. Minimal surface disturbance is required because only the sources of severe AMD production were targeted with the grout applications. Reduced costs are also possible since the FBC ash is a waste product. This methodology is designed as a true abatement technique requiring no future maintenance. The project was nearing completion at the time of this writing. This paper is an interim report

  8. Combined effects of spatially variable flow and mineralogy on the attenuation of acid mine drainage in groundwater

    Quantifications of the spreading of acid mine drainage (AMD) in groundwater are needed for risk assessments of mining sites. However, due to subsurface heterogeneity, available field data may prove insufficient for deterministic process descriptions, even at well-characterized sites. Here, the probabilistic LaSAR-PHREEQC model is used to consider multicomponent reactions and transport in heterogeneous (flow and geochemistry) groundwater surrounding a mine waste site, with specific focus on the spreading of Zn. Model results, using field data from a mill tailings impoundment in northern Sweden (including major component geochemistry), indicate that precipitation of smithsonite (ZnCO3) may drastically delay the downstream arrival of Zn, but may also cause a peak concentration once the retained Zn is released. The amount of smithsonite formed is, however, minute and its spatial variation large, such that detection of smithsonite in soil samples may be difficult. Results further show that even a low degree of flow heterogeneity can effectively smooth otherwise distinctive temporal concentration changes attributed to the considered chemical reactions, and thereby mask the attenuation processes. By contrast, the existence of preferential flow paths can cause temporally separated concentration peaks in response to a single chemical reaction chain, even in a geochemically homogeneous domain, making the interpretation of the concentration curves non-trivial. The stochastic modelling results for Zn considering flow and/or mineralogical heterogeneity indicate a less efficient Zn attenuation than predicted by standard, deterministic reactive-transport models. In addition, in all considered probabilistic Zn and SO42- scenarios, the spatial variability in downstream pollutant concentration was high, implying that a relatively large number of point samples are needed to determine field-scale mean concentrations

  9. An evaluation of problems arising from acid mine drainage in the vicinity of Shasta Lake, Shasta County, California

    Fuller, Richard H.; Shay, J.M.; Ferreira, R.F.; Hoffman, R.J.

    1978-01-01

    Streams draining the mined areas of massive sulfide ore deposits in the Shasta Mining Districts of northern California are generally acidic and contain large concentrations of dissolved metals, including iron, copper, and zinc. The streams, including Flat, Little Backbone, Spring, West Squaw, Horse, and Zinc Creeks, discharge into Shasta Reservoir and the Sacramento River and have caused numerous fish kills. The sources of pollution are discharge from underground mines, streams that flow into open pits, and streams that flow through pyritic mine dumps where the oxidation of pyrite and other sulfide minerals results in the production of acid and the mobilization of metals. Suggested methods of treatment include the use of air and hydraulic seals in the mines, lime neutralization of mine effluent, channeling of runoff and mine effluent away from mine and tailing areas, and the grading and sealing of mine dumps. A comprehensive preabatement and postabatement program is recommended to evaluate the effects of any treatment method used. (Woodard-USGS)

  10. Evaluation of genetic toxicity caused by acid mine drainage of coal mines on fish fauna of Simsang River, Garohills, Meghalaya, India.

    Talukdar, B; Kalita, H K; Baishya, R A; Basumatary, S; Sarma, D

    2016-09-01

    Fishery ecology of the Simsang River, Meghalaya is being threatened by large scale environmental degradation due to acid mine drainage (AMD) of coal mines. In the present paper, effort has been made to evaluate the genotoxicity caused due to AMD of coal mines on Channa punctata under laboratory condition through comet assay, micronucleus and chromosome aberration tests. Water samples were collected seasonally from affected and unaffected sites of the River and physico-chemical quality of water indicated low pH (4.6), high concentration of sulphates (270mgL(-1)) and iron (7.2mgL(-1)) beyond permissible limits. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) showed highest concentration of 4-ring PAH and Benzo[a]anthracene was the most important pollutant in the water collected from affected sites. The highest and the lowest mean concentrations of PAHs were estimated in monsoon and winter season, respectively. The index of DNA damage assessed by comet assay, micronucleus and chromosome aberration tests demonstrated significant differences season wise in different sampling sites. Frequency of DNA-damaged cells was found highest in the water samples collected from affected site in monsoon season. PMID:27213561