Sample records for acid rock drainage


    Anca Ionce


    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.

  2. Acid rock drainage and climate change

    Nordstrom, D.K.


    Rainfall events cause both increases and decreases in acid and metals concentrations and their loadings from mine wastes, and unmined mineralized areas, into receiving streams based on data from 3 mines sites in the United States and other sites outside the US. Gradual increases in concentrations occur during long dry spells and sudden large increases are observed during the rising limb of the discharge following dry spells (first flush). By the time the discharge peak has occurred, concentrations are usually decreased, often to levels below those of pre-storm conditions and then they slowly rise again during the next dry spell. These dynamic changes in concentrations and loadings are related to the dissolution of soluble salts and the flushing out of waters that were concentrated by evaporation. The underlying processes, pyrite oxidation and host rock dissolution, do not end until the pyrite is fully weathered, which can take hundreds to thousands of years. These observations can be generalized to predict future conditions caused by droughts related to El Ni??o and climate change associated with global warming. Already, the time period for dry summers is lengthening in the western US and rainstorms are further apart and more intense when they happen. Consequently, flushing of inactive or active mine sites and mineralized but unmined sites will cause larger sudden increases in concentrations that will be an ever increasing danger to aquatic life with climate change. Higher average concentrations will be observed during longer low-flow periods. Remediation efforts will have to increase the capacity of engineered designs to deal with more extreme conditions, not average conditions of previous years.

  3. A Sustainable Approach for Acid Rock Drainage Treatment using Clinoptilolite

    Li, L. Y.; Xu, W.; Grace, J. R.


    Problems related to acid rock drainage (ARD) occur along many highways of British Columbia. The ARD problem at Pennask Creek along Highway 97C in the Thompson-Okanagan region is an ideal site for pilot study to investigate a possible remediation solution. The highway was opened in 1991. An ARD problem was identified in 1997. Both sides of Highway 97C are producing acidified runoff from both cut rock surface and a fractured ditch. This runoff eventually enters Pennask Creek, the largest spawning source of rainbow trout in British Columbia. The current remediation technique using limestone for ARD treatment appears to be unnecessarily expensive, to generate additional solid waste and to not be optimally effective. A soil mineral natural zeolite - clinoptilolite - which is inexpensive and locally available, has a high metal adsorption capacity and a significant buffering capacity. Moreover, the clinoptilolite materials could be back-flushed and reused on site. An earlier batch adsorption study from our laboratory demonstrated that clinoptilolite has a high adsorption capacity for Cu, Zn, Al, with adsorption concentrations 131, 158 and 215 mg/kg clinoptilolite, respectively, from ARD of pH 3.3. Removal of metals from the loaded clinoptilolite by back-flushing was found to depend on the pH, with an optimum pH range for extraction of 2.5 to 4.0 for a contact time of one hour. The rank of desorption effectiveness was EDTA > NaCl > NaNO3 > NaOAC > NaHCO3 > Na2CO3 > NaOH > Ca(OH)2. A novel process involving cyclic adsorption on clinoptilolite followed by regeneration of the sorbent by desorption is examined for the removal of heavy metals from acid rock drainage. Experimental results show that the adsorption of zinc and copper depends on the pH and on external mass transfer. Desorption is assisted by adding NaCl to the water. A slurry bubble column was able to significantly reduce the time required for both adsorption and desorption in batch tests. XRD analysis indicated

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

    Labuschagne, Charl


    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 ...

  5. Operational Lessons Learned During Bioreactor Demonstrations for Acid Rock Drainage Treatment

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mine Waste Technology Program (MWTP) has emphasized the development of biologically-based treatment technologies for acid rock drainage (ARD). Progressively evolving technology demonstrations have resulted in significant advances in sul...

  6. Reduction of acid rock drainage using steel slag in cover systems over sulfide rock waste piles.

    de Almeida, Rodrigo Pereira; Leite, Adilson do Lago; Borghetti Soares, Anderson


    The extraction of gold, coal, nickel, uranium, copper and other earth-moving activities almost always leads to environmental damage. In metal and coal extraction, exposure of sulfide minerals to the atmosphere leads to generation of acid rock drainage (ARD) and in underground mining to acid mine drainage (AMD) due to contamination of infiltrating groundwater. This study proposes to develop a reactive cover system that inhibits infiltration of oxygen and also releases alkalinity to increase the pH of generated ARD and attenuate metal contaminants at the same time. The reactive cover system is constructed using steel slag, a waste product generated from steel industries. This study shows that this type of cover system has the potential to reduce some of the adverse effects of sulfide mine waste disposal on land. Geochemical and geotechnical characterization tests were carried out. Different proportions of sulfide mine waste and steel slag were studied in leachate extraction tests. The best proportion was 33% of steel slag in dry weight. Other tests were conducted as follows: soil consolidation, saturated permeability and soil water characteristic curve. The cover system was numerically modeled through unsaturated flux analysis using Vadose/w. The solution proposed is an oxygen transport barrier that allows rain water percolation to treat the ARD in the waste rock pile. The results showed that the waste pile slope is an important factor and the cover system must have 5 m thickness to achieve an acceptable effectiveness. PMID:25750056

  7. Acid rock drainage and rock weathering in antarctica: Important sources for iron cycling in the southern ocean

    Dold, B.; González-Toril, Elena; Aguilera, Ángeles; López-Pamo, E.; M. E. Cisternas; F. Bucchi; Amils, Ricardo


    Here we describe biogeochemical processes that lead to the generation of acid rock drainage (ARD) and rock weathering on the Antarctic landmass and describe why they are important sources of iron into the Antarctic Ocean. During three expeditions, 2009-2011, we examined three sites on the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica. Two of them displayed intensive sulfide mineralization and generated acidic (pH 3.2-4.5), iron-rich drainage waters (up to 1.78 mM Fe), which infiltrated as groundwater ...


    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...

  9. Microbial exoenzymes as bioindicators of acid rock drainage impacts in the Finniss River

    Sediment samples were collected from several sites along the East Branch of the Finniss River during the dry season (June, 1999), when the East Branch is drying into a series of ponds. The sites included those upstream from the Rum Jungle mine site (EB8A, EB8B, FCA, FCB), a site receiving acid leachate from the waste rock (WO), sites downstream from the mine that are impacted by acid and metal contamination (EB6, TCP, EB5D, EB4U, EB2) and reference sites not subject to acid rock drainage (HS, EB4S, LFRB). Exoenzyme activities were measured with a spectrofluorometric technique that involved measuring the increase in fluorescence when an artificial fluorogenic substrate (that mimics the natural substrate) is hydrolysed to a highly fluorescent product. The present findings indicate that the acid rock drainage impacted sediments contain acidophilic, heterotrophic microorganisms, bacteria and/or fungi, producing extracellular enzymes adapted to the acid conditions. This study has demonstrated that measurements of extracellular enzyme activities in river sediments provide a rapid, sensitive technique for determining microbial activity and productivity. In aquatic ecosystems some exoenzymes, particularly leucine-aminopeptidase, could be used as bioindicators of pollution from acid rock drainage

  10. Mixing-controlled uncertainty in long-term predictions of acid rock drainage from heterogeneous waste-rock piles

    Pedretti, D.; Beckie, R. D.; Mayer, K. U.


    The chemistry of drainage from waste-rock piles at mine sites is difficult to predict because of a number of uncertainties including heterogeneous reactive mineral content, distribution of minerals, weathering rates and physical flow properties. In this presentation, we examine the effects of mixing on drainage chemistry over timescales of 100s of years. We use a 1-D streamtube conceptualization of flow in waste rocks and multicomponent reactive transport modeling. We simplify the reactive system to consist of acid-producing sulfide minerals and acid-neutralizing carbonate minerals and secondary sulfate and iron oxide minerals. We create multiple realizations of waste-rock piles with distinct distributions of reactive minerals along each flow path and examine the uncertainty of drainage geochemistry through time. The limited mixing of streamtubes that is characteristic of the vertical unsaturated flow in many waste-rock piles, allows individual flowpaths to sustain acid or neutral conditions to the base of the pile, where the streamtubes mix. Consequently, mixing and the acidity/alkalinity balance of the streamtube waters, and not the overall acid- and base-producing mineral contents, control the instantaneous discharge chemistry. Our results show that the limited mixing implied by preferential flow and the heterogeneous distribution of mineral contents lead to large uncertainty in drainage chemistry over short and medium time scales. However, over longer timescales when one of either the acid-producing or neutralizing primary phases is depleted, the drainage chemistry becomes less controlled by mixing and in turn less uncertain. A correct understanding of the temporal variability of uncertainty is key to make informed long-term decisions in mining settings regarding the management of waste material.

  11. 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

  12. Acid rock drainage and rock weathering in Antarctica: important sources for iron cycling in the Southern Ocean.

    Dold, B; Gonzalez-Toril, E; Aguilera, A; Lopez-Pamo, E; Cisternas, M E; Bucchi, F; Amils, R


    Here we describe biogeochemical processes that lead to the generation of acid rock drainage (ARD) and rock weathering on the Antarctic landmass and describe why they are important sources of iron into the Antarctic Ocean. During three expeditions, 2009-2011, we examined three sites on the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica. Two of them displayed intensive sulfide mineralization and generated acidic (pH 3.2-4.5), iron-rich drainage waters (up to 1.78 mM Fe), which infiltrated as groundwater (as Fe(2+)) and as superficial runoff (as Fe(3+)) into the sea, the latter with the formation of schwertmannite in the sea-ice. The formation of ARD in the Antarctic was catalyzed by acid mine drainage microorganisms found in cold climates, including Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans and Thiobacillus plumbophilus. The dissolved iron (DFe) flux from rock weathering (nonmineralized control site) was calculated to be 0.45 × 10(9) g DFe yr(-1) for the nowadays 5468 km of ice-free Antarctic rock coastline which is of the same order of magnitude as glacial or aeolian input to the Southern Ocean. Additionally, the two ARD sites alone liberate 0.026 and 0.057 × 10(9) g DFe yr(-1) as point sources to the sea. The increased iron input correlates with increased phytoplankton production close to the source. This might even be enhanced in the future by a global warming scenario, and could be a process counterbalancing global warming. PMID:23682976

  13. Acidic Microenvironments in Waste Rock Characterized by Neutral Drainage: Bacteria–Mineral Interactions at Sulfide Surfaces

    John W. Dockrey


    Full Text Available Microbial populations and microbe-mineral interactions were examined in waste rock characterized by neutral rock drainage (NRD. Samples of three primary sulfide-bearing waste rock types (i.e., marble-hornfels, intrusive, exoskarn were collected from field-scale experiments at the Antamina Cu–Zn–Mo mine, Peru. Microbial communities within all samples were dominated by neutrophilic thiosulfate oxidizing bacteria. However, acidophilic iron and sulfur oxidizers were present within intrusive waste rock characterized by bulk circumneutral pH drainage. The extensive development of microbially colonized porous Fe(III (oxyhydroxide and Fe(III (oxyhydroxysulfate precipitates was observed at sulfide-mineral surfaces during examination by field emission-scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (FE-SEM-EDS. Linear combination fitting of bulk extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS spectra for these precipitates indicated they were composed of schwertmannite [Fe8O8(OH6–4.5(SO41–1.75], lepidocrocite [γ-FeO(OH] and K-jarosite [KFe3(OH6(SO42]. The presence of schwertmannite and K-jarosite is indicative of the development of localized acidic microenvironments at sulfide-mineral surfaces. Extensive bacterial colonization of this porous layer and pitting of underlying sulfide-mineral surfaces suggests that acidic microenvironments can play an important role in sulfide-mineral oxidation under bulk circumneutral pH conditions. These findings have important implications for water quality management in NRD settings.

  14. 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

  15. Impacts on water quality and biota from natural acid rock drainage in Colorado's Lake Creek watershed

    Bird, D.A.; Sares, Matthew A.; Policky, Greg A.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Church, Stanley E.


    Colorado's Lake Creek watershed hosts natural acid rock drainage that significantly impacts surface water, streambed sediment, and aquatic life. The source of the ARD is a group of iron-rich springs that emerge from intensely hydrothermally altered, unexploited, low-grade porphyry copper mineralization in the Grizzly Peak Caldera. Source water chemistry includes pH of 2.5 and dissolved metal concentrations of up to 277 mg/L aluminum, 498 mg/L iron, and 10 mg/L copper. From the hydrothermally altered area downstream for 27 kilometers to Twin Lakes Reservoir, metal concentrations in streambed sediment are elevated and the watershed experiences locally severe adverse impacts to aquatic life due to the acidic, metal-laden water. The water and sediment quality of Twin Lakes Reservoir is sufficiently improved that the reservoir supports a trout fishery, and remnants of upstream ARD are negligible.

  16. 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)

  17. On the neutralization of acid rock drainage by carbonate and silicate minerals

    Sherlock, E. J.; Lawrence, R. W.; Poulin, R.


    The net result of acid-generating and-neutralizing reactions within mining wastes is termed acid rock drainage (ARD). The oxidation of sulfide minerals is the major contributor to acid generation. Dissolution and alteration of various minerals can contribute to the neutralization of acid. Definitions of alkalinity, acidity, and buffer capacity are reviewed, and a detailed discussion of the dissolution and neutralizing capacity of carbonate and silicate minerals related to equilibium conditions, dissolution mechanism, and kinetics is provided. Factors that determine neutralization rate by carbonate and silicate minerals include: pH, PCO 2, equilibrium conditions, temperature, mineral composition and structure, redox conditions, and the presence of “foreign” ions. Similar factors affect sulfide oxidation. Comparison of rates shows sulfides react fastest, followed by carbonates and silicates. The differences in the reaction mechanisms and kinetics of neutralization have important implications in the prediction, control, and regulation of ARD. Current static and kinetic prediction methods upon which mine permitting, ARD control, and mine closure plans are based do not consider sample mineralogy or the kinetics of the acid-generating and-neutralizing reactions. Erroneous test interpretations and predictions can result. The importance of considering mineralogy for site-specific interpretation is highlighted. Uncertainty in prediction leads to difficulties for the mine operator in developing satisfactory and cost-effective control and remediation measures. Thus, the application of regulations and guidelines for waste management planning need to beflexible.

  18. Chemical stability of acid rock drainage treatment sludge and implications for sludge management.

    McDonald, Danny M; Webb, John A; Taylor, Jeff


    To assess the chemical stability of sludges generated by neutralizing acid rock drainage (ARD) with alkaline reagents, synthetic ARD was treated with hydrated lime (batch and high-density sludge process), limestone, and two proprietary reagents (KB-1 and Bauxsol). The amorphous metal hydroxide sludge produced was leached using deionized water, U.S. EPA methods (toxicity characteristic leaching procedure, synthetic precipitation leaching procedure), and the new strong acid leach test (SALT), which leaches the sludge with a series of sulfuric acid extractant solutions; the pH decreases by approximately 1 pH unit with each test, until the final pH is approximately 2. Sludges precipitated by all reagents had very similar leachabilities except for KB-1 and Bauxsol, which released more aluminum. SALT showed that lowering the pH of the leaching solution mobilized more metals from the sludges. Iron, aluminum, copper, and zinc began to leach at pH 2.5-3, approximately 4.5, approximately 5.5, and 6-6.5, respectively. The leachability of ARD treatment sludges is determined by the final pH of the leachate. A higher neutralization potential (e.g., a greater content of unreacted neutralizing agent) makes sludges inherently more chemically stable. Thus, when ARD or any acidic metalliferous wastewater is treated, a choice must be made between efficient reagent use and resistance to acid attack. PMID:16570625

  19. Methods for estimation of long-term non-carbonate neutralisation of acid rock drainage.

    Miller, Stuart D; Stewart, Warwick S; Rusdinar, Yuni; Schumann, Russell E; Ciccarelli, Joseph M; Li, Jun; Smart, Roger St C


    In the long-term phase of an acid rock drainage (ARD) evolution profile, after any short-term neutralisation capacity provided by carbonate minerals is exhausted, the net acid release is a product of a declining acid generation rate (AGR) and a slower, long-term acid neutralisation rate mainly provided by gangue silicate minerals. At some point, the AGR and the non-carbonate acid neutralisation rate (ANRnc) will be similar. Matching of the AGR and ANRnc near 10mg H(2)SO(4)/kg/week is demonstrated in data from 10-year columns. This long-term neutralisation is not measured at present in any accepted assessment tests. Methods to estimate ANRnc, based on silicate mineralogy and solution assays from long-term column leach tests, are compared. Good agreement is demonstrated between rates measured from the solution assay data and those calculated from mineralogy using kinetic databases. More rigorous analysis of the leachate chemistry of selected long-term leach tests also suggests possible cover design criteria based on the maximum AGR that will maintain a pH>4 in leachate from ARD materials. The data show a distinct break at an AGR of 3mg H(2)SO(4)/kg/week, below which no leachate pH is less than 4. The results indicate that an AGR of 10t H(2)SO(4)/ha/year is conservative and a suitable cover design target for ARD control that would be matched by ANRnc. PMID:20097405

  20. 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: [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: [Catholic University of Pocos de Caldas (PUC-PCaldas), MG (Brazil). Civil Engineering Dept.


    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)

  1. 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)

  2. Characterization of Green Liquor Dregs, Potentially Useful for Prevention of the Formation of Acid Rock Drainage

    Maria Mäkitalo


    Full Text Available Using alternative materials such as residual products from other industries to mitigate the negative effects of acid rock drainage would simultaneously solve two environmental problems. The main residual product still landfilled by sulphate paper mills is the alkaline material green liquor dregs (GLD. A physical, mineralogical and chemical characterization of four batches of GLD was carried out to evaluate the potential to use it as a sealing layer in the construction of dry covers on sulphide-bearing mine waste. GLD has relatively low hydraulic conductivity (10−8 to 10−9 m/s, a high water retention capacity (WRC and small particle size. Whilst the chemical and mineralogical composition varied between the different batches, these variations were not reflected in properties such as hydraulic conductivity and WRC. Due to relatively low trace element concentrations, leaching of contaminants from the GLD is not a concern for the environment. However, GLD is a sticky material, difficult to apply on mine waste deposits and the shear strength is insufficient for engineering applications. Therefore, improving the mechanical properties is necessary. In addition, GLD has a high buffering capacity indicating that it could act as an alkaline barrier. Once engineering technicalities have been overcome, the long-term effectiveness of GLD should be studied, especially the effect of aging and how the sealing layer would be engineered in respect to topography and climatic conditions.

  3. Algae as an electron donor promoting sulfate reduction for the bioremediation of acid rock drainage.

    Ayala-Parra, Pedro; Sierra-Alvarez, Reyes; Field, Jim A


    This study assessed bioremediation of acid rock drainage in simulated permeable reactive barriers (PRB) using algae, Chlorella sorokiniana, as the sole electron donor for sulfate-reducing bacteria. Lipid extracted algae (LEA), the residues of biodiesel production, were compared with whole cell algae (WCA) as an electron donor to promote sulfate-reducing activity. Inoculated columns containing anaerobic granular sludge were fed a synthetic medium containing H2SO4 and Cu(2+). Sulfate, sulfide, Cu(2+) and pH were monitored throughout the experiment of 123d. Cu recovered in the column packing at the end of the experiment was evaluated using sequential extraction. Both WCA and LEA promoted 80% of sulfate removal (12.7mg SO4(2-) d(-1)) enabling near complete Cu removal (>99.5%) and alkalinity generation raising the effluent pH to 6.5. No noteworthy sulfate reduction, alkalinity formation and Cu(2+) removal were observed in the endogenous control. In algae amended-columns, Cu(2+) was precipitated with biogenic H2S produced by sulfate reduction. Formation of CuS was evidenced by sequential extraction and X-ray diffraction. LEA and WCA provided similar levels of electron donor based on the COD balance. The results demonstrate an innovative passive remediation system using residual algae biomass from the biodiesel industry. PMID:27318730

  4. Trace metal mobilization from oil sands froth treatment thickened tailings exhibiting acid rock drainage.

    Kuznetsova, Alsu; Kuznetsov, Petr; Foght, Julia M; Siddique, Tariq


    Froth treatment thickened tailings (TT) are a waste product of bitumen extraction from surface-mined oil sands ores. When incubated in a laboratory under simulated moist oxic environmental conditions for ~450d, two different types of TT (TT1 and TT2) exhibited the potential to generate acid rock drainage (ARD) by producing acid leachate after 250 and 50d, respectively. We report here the release of toxic metals from TT via ARD, which could pose an environmental threat if oil sands TT deposits are not properly managed. Trace metal concentrations in leachate samples collected periodically revealed that Mn and Sr were released immediately even before the onset of ARD. Spikes in Co and Ni concentrations were observed both pre-ARD and during active ARD, particularly in TT1. For most elements measured (Fe, Cr, V, As, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, and Se), leaching was associated with ARD production. Though equivalent acidification (pH2) was achieved in leachate from both TT types, greater metal release was observed from TT2 where concentrations reached 10,000ppb for Ni, 5000ppb for Co, 3000ppb for As, 2000ppb for V, and 1000ppb for Cr. Generally, metal concentrations decreased in leachate with time during ARD and became negligible by the end of incubation (~450d) despite appreciable metals remaining in the leached TT. These results suggest that using TT for land reclamation purposes or surface deposition for volume reduction may unfavorably impact the environment, and warrants application of appropriate strategies for management of pyrite-enriched oil sands tailings streams. PMID:27443453

  5. Temporal and spatial variability of acid rock drainage in a rehabilitated coal mine, Wangaloa, South Otago, New Zealand

    The Wangaloa open cast coal mine ceased operations in 1989, with no restoration of the 252 ha site, and moderate acid rock drainage developed. A major rehabilitation programme was initiated in 2002 with removal of exotic vegetation, and extensive planting (>60,000) of native seedlings was begun in 2003. By 2006, most seedlings were thriving, and, combined with adventive exotic weeds, a 70% vegetation cover had been achieved. The site substrates were highly variable on the 10-100 m2 scale, and have been characterised by paste pH (>700 measurements). In 2003, substrates had moderate acidity (pH 4.5 ± 0.9) with distinctly acid patches (pH down to 100 samples from 15 sites) were also highly variable spatially and temporally. Incoming stream and rainwater (pH 5-6) chemically interacted with acid substrates, especially waste rock piles that contain pyrite-bearing material, and evolved to lower pH (pH down to 3.4), sulfate-rich waters. A pit lake on the site receives most surface and groundwater runoff, and this lake, with a water residence time of 1-2 yr, controls the site discharge water quality. The lake pH varies on a monthly time-scale from 4.5 to 6.5, synchronised with pH variations in groundwater boreholes in waste rock. In addition, there has been a general increase in pH of the lake during rehabilitation from consistent pH 4.6-4.8 before rehabilitation to near pH 6 during rehabilitation. The sulfate/chloride ratio of lake water has decreased from 20 to <10 during rehabilitation as well. These changes in lake water composition from year to year may be a result of increased input of rainwater that has had less interaction with substrate than runoff water had before rehabilitation began. (author). 23 refs., 10 figs., 1 tab

  6. 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

  7. Microbacter margulisiae gen. nov., sp. nov., a propionigenic bacterium isolated from sediments of an acid rock drainage pond.

    Sánchez-Andrea, Irene; Sanz, Jose Luis; Stams, Alfons J M


    A novel anaerobic propionigenic bacterium, strain ADRI(T), was isolated from sediment of an acid rock drainage environment (Tinto River, Spain). Cells were small (0.4-0.6×1-1.7 µm), non-motile and non-spore-forming rods. Cells possessed a Gram-negative cell-wall structure and were vancomycin-resistant. Strain ADRI(T) utilized yeast extract and various sugars as substrates and formed propionate, lactate and acetate as major fermentation products. The optimum growth temperature was 30 °C and the optimum pH for growth was pH 6.5, but strain ADRI(T) was able to grow at a pH as low as 3.0. Oxidase, indole formation, and urease and catalase activities were negative. Aesculin and gelatin were hydrolysed. The predominant cellular fatty acids of strain ADRI(T) were anteiso-C15 : 0 (30.3 %), iso-C15 : 0 (29.2 %) and iso-C17 : 0 3-OH (14.9 %). Major menaquinones were MK-8 (52 %) and MK-9 (48 %). The genomic DNA G+C content was 39.9 mol%. Phylogenetically, strain ADRI(T) was affiliated to the family Porphyromonadaceae of the phylum Bacteroidetes. The most closely related cultured species were Paludibacter propionicigenes with 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of 87.5 % and several species of the genus Dysgonomonas (similarities of 83.5-85.4 % to the type strains). Based on the distinctive ecological, phenotypic and phylogenetic characteristics of strain ADRI(T), a novel genus and species, Microbacter margulisiae gen. nov., sp. nov., is proposed. The type strain is ADRI(T) ( = JCM 19374(T) = DSM 27471(T)). PMID:25201913

  8. An investigation of Acid Rock Drainage (ARD occurrence in a gold mine located in a Southeastern Brazil region

    Luciana Xavier de Lemos Capanema


    Full Text Available This work is aimed at evaluating the potential of Acid Rock Drainage (ARD from two Brazilian gold sulfidic ore samples, by means of using three of the most traditional ARD prediction techniques: Standard Acid Base Accounting and Modified Acid Base Accounting, as static methods, and humidity cells, as a kinetic method. Samples were submitted to chemical and mineralogical characterization that indicated the presence of traces of sulfide minerals, such as pyrite, arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite and of carbonates, calcite and dolomite. While the Standard ABA results were inconclusive, the Modified ABA NNP results and NP/AP ratio suggested a tendency of TP01 and WP01 being acid generators, this tendency being slightly stronger for sample WP01. So, a kinetic test was conducted to elucidate the results. The humidity cells results for samples TP01 and WP01 indicated the probable sulfide oxidation to produce acid, subsequently neutralized by alkalinity generated by the carbonates. Based on the results, one can conclude that although sample WP01 has a slightly higher ARD generation potential than TP01, these samples can be at different stages of ARD process, or better, TP01 is at a more advanced stage of ARD production than WP01. The determinant role of the kinetic tests is highlighted by the results.Esse trabalho tem como objetivo avaliar o potencial de geração de Drenagem Ácida de Rocha (ARD de duas amostras de minério de ouro sulfetado através de três das mais tradicionais técnicas de diagnóstico de ARD: "Standard Acid Base Accounting and Modified Acid Base Accounting", métodos estáticos, e células úmidas, método cinético. As amostras foram submetidas a uma caracterização química e mineralógica que indicou a presença de traços de sulfetos, tais como pirita, arsenopirita e pirrotita e de carbonatos, tais como calcita e dolomita. Considerando os resultados dos ensaios realizados, foi confirmada a necessidade de se utilizarem diversas t

  9. Zinc isotope investigation of surface and pore waters in a mountain watershed impacted by acid rock drainage

    The pollution of natural waters with metals derived from the oxidation of sulfide minerals like pyrite is a global environmental problem. However, the metal loading pathways and transport mechanisms associated with acid rock drainage reactions are often difficult to characterize using bulk chemical data alone. In this study, we evaluated the use of zinc (Zn) isotopes to complement traditional geochemical tools in the investigation of contaminated waters at the former Waldorf mining site in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, U.S.A. Geochemical signatures and statistical analysis helped in identifying two primary metal loading pathways at the Waldorf site. The first was characterized by a circumneutral pH, high alkalinity, and high Zn/Cd ratios. The second was characterized by acidic pHs and low Zn/Cd ratios. Zinc isotope signatures in surface water samples collected across the site were remarkably similar (the δ66Zn, relative to JMC 3-0749-L, for most samples ranged from 0.20 to 0.30‰ ± 0.09‰ 2σ). This probably suggests that the ultimate source of Zn is consistent across the Waldorf site, regardless of the metal loading pathway. The δ66Zn of pore water samples collected within a nearby metal-impacted wetland area, however, were more variable, ranging from 0.20 to 0.80‰ ± 0.09‰ 2σ. Here the Zn isotopes seemed to reflect differences in groundwater flow pathways. However, a host of secondary processes might also have impacted Zn isotopes, including adsorption of Zn onto soil components, complexation of Zn with dissolved organic matter, uptake of Zn into plants, and the precipitation of Zn during the formation of reduced sulfur species. Zinc isotope analysis proved useful in this study; however, the utility of this isotopic tool would improve considerably with the addition of a comprehensive experimental foundation for interpreting the complex isotopic relationships found in soil pore waters. - Highlights: ► Zinc isotopes of water were measured in samples

  10. Performance of an open limestone channel for treating a stream affected by acid rock drainage (León, Spain).

    Santofimia, Esther; López-Pamo, Enrique


    The generation of acid rock drainage (ARD) was observed after the oxidation dissolution of pyrite-rich black shales, which were excavated during the construction of a highway in León (Spain). ARDs are characterized by the presence of high concentrations of sulfate and metals (Al, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Co, Ni, Th, and U) that affect the La Silva stream. Dissolved element concentrations showed values between one and four orders of magnitude higher than those of natural waters of this area. A passive treatment system was constructed; the aim of which was to improve the quality of the water of the stream. This work provides a hydrochemical characterization of the La Silva stream after its transit through the different elements that constitute the passive treatment system (open limestone channel (OLC), small ponds, and a wetland), during its first year of operation. The passive treatment system has two sections separated by a tunnel 230 m long. The first section, which stretches between the highway and the tunnel entrance, is an OLC 350 m long with a slope of 16 %. The second section, which stretches from the tunnel exit to the end wetland, has a length of 700 m and a slope of 6 %; it is in this section where six small ponds are located. In the first section of this passive treatment system, the OLC was effectively increasing the pH from 3 to 4-4.5 and eliminating all of the dissolved Fe and the partially dissolved Al. These elements, after hydrolysis at a pH 3-3.5 and 4-4.5, respectively, had precipitated as schwertmannite and hydrobasaluminite, while other dissolved metals were removed totally or partially for adsorption by the precipitates and/or by coprecipitation. The second section receives different inputs of water such as ARDs and natural waters. After exiting the treatment system, the stream is buffered by Al at a pH of 4-4.3, showing high Al concentrations (19-101 mg/L) but with a complete removal of dissolved Fe. Unfortunately, the outflow shows similar or

  11. Neutralization/prevention of acid rock drainage using mixtures of alkaline by-products and sulfidic mine wastes.

    Alakangas, Lena; Andersson, Elin; Mueller, Seth


    Backfilling of open pit with sulfidic waste rock followed by inundation is a common method for reducing sulfide oxidation after mine closure. This approach can be complemented by mixing the waste rock with alkaline materials from pulp and steel mills to increase the system's neutralization potential. Leachates from 1 m3 tanks containing sulfide-rich (ca.30 wt %) waste rock formed under dry and water saturated conditions under laboratory conditions were characterized and compared to those formed from mixtures. The waste rock leachate produced an acidic leachate (pHhigh concentrations of As (65 mg/L), Cu (6 mg/L), and Zn (150 mg/L) after 258 days. The leachate from water-saturated waste rock had lower concentrations of As and Cu (9). The decrease of elemental concentration in the leachate was most pronounced for Pb and Zn, while Al and S were relatively high. Overall, the results obtained were promising and suggest that alkaline by-products could be useful additives for minimizing ARD formation. PMID:23740301

  12. Acid rock drainage in the uranium mining and milling site of Pocos de Caldas, Brazil -- duration assessment, pollutant generation modelling and remediation strategies

    This geochemical modeling work was carried out to simulate the acid drainage generation from one of the waste-rock piles at the Pocos de Caldas uranium mining site. The mathematical code STEADQYL was used. The estimated results were in good agreement for sulphate and uranium concentrations and the duration of the acid water generation was estimated to be about 500 years. The effect of covering the dump with a material that minimized oxygen diffusion was assessed. Projections indicated that covering the dump with a 1.0 m thickness of a material (like clay), which had an oxygen diffusion coefficient of 109m2·s1, would reduce the pollutant concentrations to acceptable values. The estimated cost, when using this strategy, would be about US $10 million. (author)

  13. Fractionation of Cu and Zn isotopes during adsorption onto amorphous Fe(III) oxyhydroxide: Experimental mixing of acid rock drainage and ambient river water

    Balistrieri, L.S.; Borrok, D.M.; Wanty, R.B.; Ridley, W.I.


    Fractionation of Cu and Zn isotopes during adsorption onto amorphous ferric oxyhydroxide is examined in experimental mixtures of metal-rich acid rock drainage and relatively pure river water and during batch adsorption experiments using synthetic ferrihydrite. A diverse set of Cu- and Zn-bearing solutions was examined, including natural waters, complex synthetic acid rock drainage, and simple NaNO3 electrolyte. Metal adsorption data are combined with isotopic measurements of dissolved Cu (65Cu/63Cu) and Zn (66Zn/64Zn) in each of the experiments. Fractionation of Cu and Zn isotopes occurs during adsorption of the metal onto amorphous ferric oxyhydroxide. The adsorption data are modeled successfully using the diffuse double layer model in PHREEQC. The isotopic data are best described by a closed system, equilibrium exchange model. The fractionation factors (??soln-solid) are 0.99927 ?? 0.00008 for Cu and 0.99948 ?? 0.00004 for Zn or, alternately, the separation factors (??soln-solid) are -0.73 ?? 0.08??? for Cu and -0.52 ?? 0.04??? for Zn. These factors indicate that the heavier isotope preferentially adsorbs onto the oxyhydroxide surface, which is consistent with shorter metal-oxygen bonds and lower coordination number for the metal at the surface relative to the aqueous ion. Fractionation of Cu isotopes also is greater than that for Zn isotopes. Limited isotopic data for adsorption of Cu, Fe(II), and Zn onto amorphous ferric oxyhydroxide suggest that isotopic fractionation is related to the intrinsic equilibrium constants that define aqueous metal interactions with oxyhydroxide surface sites. Greater isotopic fractionation occurs with stronger metal binding by the oxyhydroxide with Cu > Zn > Fe(II).

  14. Characterization of anthropogenic and natural sources of acid rock drainage at the Cinnamon Gulch abandoned mine land inventory site, Summit County, Colorado

    Bird, D.A.


    Colorado's Cinnamon Gulch releases acid rock drainage (ARD) from anthropogenic and natural sources. In 2001, the total discharge from Cinnamon Gulch was measured at 1.02 cfs (29 L/s) at base flow and 4.3 cfs (122 L/s) at high flow (spring runoff). At base flow, natural sources account for 98% of the discharge from the watershed, and about 96% of the chemical loading. At high flow, natural sources contribute 96% of discharge and 92 to 95% of chemical loading. The pH is acidic throughout the Cinnamon Gulch watershed, ranging from 2.9 to 5.4. At baseflow, nearly all of the trace metals analyzed in the 18 samples exceeded state hardness-dependent water quality standards for aquatic life. Maximum dissolved concentrations of selected constituents included 16 mg/ L aluminum, 15 mg/L manganese, 40 mg/L iron, 2 mg/L copper, 560 ??g/L lead, 8.4 mg/L zinc, and 300 mg/L sulfate. Average dissolved concentrations of selected metals at baseflow were 5.5 mg/L aluminum, 5.5 mg/L manganese, 14 ??g/L cadmium, 260 ??g/L copper, 82 ??g/L lead, and 2.8 mg/L zinc.

  15. The geochemistry of acid rock drainage and estimating its ecological impact at a uranium mine in tropical Australia

    Geochemical kinetic modelling of the effluent chemistry from waste rock dumps at the Rum Jungle copper/uranium mine has been undertaken. The modelling examined the periods both before and after the installation of covers being placed on the dumps. Effluent from the waste rock dump migrates into the adjacent East Branch of the Finniss River and may induce ecological detriment. The model predicts pollutant loads that are significantly greater than that currently observed in the field. The observed reduction of pollutant loads after the cover was placed on the dump is attributed to a decrease in the rate of water infiltration due to the cover placement. It is estimated that a significant increase in pollutant loads is likely to occur Ca. 35 years after remediation. A computer program for ecological risk assessment, AQUARISK, has been developed and applied to evaluate the likelihood of biotic detriment due to exposure to pollutants from the site. Measured and modelled water quality data have been used in AQUARISK, in conjunction with national water quality guidelines and literature derived ecotoxicological data, to estimate the ecological risk for copper, this being a key pollutant. Both the present and past copper concentrations in the East Branch have a 100% risk of exceeding current regulatory criteria in addition to criteria derived from available dose-response data. The predicted increase in copper is unlikely to change these risks. However, the present reduction has led to an appreciable increase in the measured diversity of species at the site (from 8 to 50% implied) as also reflected in the AQUARISK estimate of increased tolerance (from 5 to 36% predicted). Modelled bioavailable copper concentrations will have a deleterious impact on the present degree of recovery and a return to the previous, unacceptably low, system diversity. To achieve a situation where 67% of species are likely to tolerate the effluent from the site, the average target copper concentration


    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...


    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...

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



    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.

  19. 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

  20. Coal acid mine drainage treatment using cement kiln dust

    Edgar Alberto Martínez; Jorge Iván Tobón; Juan Guillermo Morales


    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. Molybdenum and zinc stable isotope variation in mining waste rock drainage and waste rock at the Antamina mine, Peru.

    Skierszkan, E K; Mayer, K U; Weis, D; Beckie, R D


    The stable isotope composition of molybdenum (Mo) and zinc (Zn) in mine wastes at the Antamina Copper-Zn-Mo mine, Peru, was characterized to investigate whether isotopic variation of these elements indicated metal attenuation processes in mine drainage. Waste rock and ore minerals were analyzed to identify the isotopic composition of Mo and Zn sources, namely molybdenites (MoS2) and sphalerites (ZnS). Molybdenum and Zn stable isotope ratios are reported relative to the NIST-SRM-3134 and PCIGR-1 Zn standards, respectively. δ(98)Mo among molybdenites ranged from -0.6 to +0.6‰ (n=9) while sphalerites showed no δ(66)Zn variations (0.11±0.01‰, 2 SD, n=5). Mine drainage samples from field waste rock weathering experiments were also analyzed to examine the extent of isotopic variability in the dissolved phase. Variations spanned 2.2‰ in δ(98)Mo (-0.1 to +2.1‰) and 0.7‰ in δ(66)Zn (-0.4 to +0.3‰) in mine drainage over a wide pH range (pH2.2-8.6). Lighter δ(66)Zn signatures were observed in alkaline pH conditions, which was consistent with Zn adsorption and/or hydrozincite (Zn5(OH)6(CO3)2) formation. However, in acidic mine drainage Zn isotopic compositions reflected the value of sphalerites. In addition, molybdenum isotope compositions in mine drainage were shifted towards heavier values (0.89±1.25‰, 2 SD, n=16), with some overlap, in comparison to molybdenites and waste rock (0.13±0.82‰, 2 SD, n=9). The cause of heavy Mo isotopic signatures in mine drainage was more difficult to resolve due to isotopic heterogeneity among ore minerals and a variety of possible overlapping processes including dissolution, adsorption and secondary mineral precipitation. This study shows that variation in metal isotope ratios are promising indicators of metal attenuation. Future characterization of isotopic fractionation associated to key environmental reactions will improve the power of Mo and Zn isotope ratios to track the fate of these elements in mine drainage

  2. Discussion on Acidic Mining Drainage Production and Prevention in Carbonate Rock Area%碳酸盐岩地区矿山酸性排水的产生及其防治初探

    罗远红; 雷良奇; 常耀辉; 马于涛


    The sulphide in tailings produces acidic mining drainage(AMD) after a series of physical and chemical reactions with air,water,microorganisms.People once have considered that the tailings in carbonate rock areas will not cause acid pollutions because the carbonate minerals in tailings and surrounding rocks have neutralization effect.But there are serious acid pollutions in typical carbonate rock areas like Dachang of Guangxi province,Fankou and Dabaoshan of Guangdong province,Niujiaotang of Guizhou province,etc.The main cause is that in the process of carbonate mineral neutralization,the secondary minerals precipitate and adhere to the surface of carbonate minerals and stop further response,so the actual neutralization dose can not meet the theoretical value.Acidic mining drainage carries large amounts of metal ions which could bring serious damage to ecological environment and mine engineering facilities in carbonate rock areas.According to the characteristics of tailings in carbonate rock areas,the most efficient method for acidification of tailings is to adopt covering method for new tailings and permeable reactive barriers for acidified tailings.%尾矿中的硫化物在空气、水、微生物等的作用下,发生一系列的物理化学反应,形成矿山酸性排水(AMD)。在碳酸盐岩地区,由于尾矿和围岩中都含有大量对酸具有中和效应的碳酸盐矿物,于是人们一直认为碳酸盐岩地区的尾矿不存在酸污染。而如广西大厂、广东凡口及大宝山、贵州牛角塘等碳酸盐岩地区矿山的尾矿却存在着严重的酸污染,其主要原因是碳酸盐矿物在中和酸水过程中,表面会形成阻止反应进一步进行的次生包壳,碳酸盐矿物的实际中和量达不到其理论值。矿山酸性排水携带大量的重金属离子,对碳酸盐岩地区的生态环境及矿山工程设施带来严重的危害。针对碳酸盐岩地区尾矿自身的特殊性,对新建尾矿堆采用覆盖

  3. Application of water flow and geochemical models to support the remediation of acid rock drainage from the uranium mining site of Pocos de Caldas, Brazil

    Available in abstract form only. Full text of publication follows: This paper discusses the use of two numerical models (HYDRUS-2D and STEADQL-v4) for simulating water flow and relevant geochemical processes in one of the waste rock piles of the first uranium mine in Brazil, in order to facilitate the selection of appropriate remediation strategies. The long time scale required for the oxidation of sulfidic wastes (at least 600 years) implies the need to implement permanent remediation actions. The best remediation scheme should depend on the water flow regime inside the waste pile and on the geochemical processes that occur as a result of the interactions between water and the waste (especially oxidative dissolution of pyrite). Accurate modeling of the waste site, which contains a wide range of grain and rock sizes at different degrees of water saturation and is subject to reactive multicomponent transport, entails considerable physical, mathematical and numerical challenges. This paper describes the approach used to obtain a detailed representation of the system involving both unsaturated/ saturated flow (most of the physical properties of the waste were estimated from measured data) and the geochemical network reactions (including equilibrium and kinetics reactions). (authors)

  4. Mineralogy and geochemistry of trace metals and REE in volcanic massive sulfide host rocks, stream sediments, stream waters and acid mine drainage from the Lousal mine area (Iberian Pyrite Belt, Portugal)

    Acid mine drainage represents a major source of water pollution in the Lousal area. The concentrations of trace metals and the rare earth elements (REE) in the host rocks, stream sediment, surface waters and acid mine drainage (AMD) associated with abandoned mine adits and tailings impoundments were determined, in order to fingerprint their sources and to understand their mobility and water-rock interaction. The results show that the Fe-SO4-rich acid waters vary substantially in composition both spatially and seasonally. These waters include very low pH (mostly in the range 1.9-3.0), extreme SO4 concentrations (4635-20,070 mg L-1SO42-), high metal contents (Fe, Al, Cu, Zn and Mn) and very high REE contents. The trace metal concentrations decrease downstream from the discharge points either due to precipitation of neoformed phases or to dilution. The North-American shale composite (NASC)-normalized patterns corresponding to sediment from one stream (Corona stream) show a flat tendency or are slightly enriched in light-REE (LREE). The NASC-normalized patterns corresponding to acidic mine waters show enrichment in the middle REE (MREE) with respect to the LREE and heavy REE (HREE). Moreover, the REE concentrations in acidic mine waters are 2 or 3 orders of magnitude higher than those of the surface waters. Changes of REE concentrations and variation of Eu anomaly show two spatially distinct patterns: (a) pond and spring waters with higher REE concentrations (ranging from 375 to 2870 μg L-1), that records conspicuous negative Eu anomaly, and (b) seeps from tailings impoundments corresponding to lower REE concentrations than the first pattern (ranging from 350 to 1139 μg L-1) with typically negative Eu anomaly. The stream water samples collected from the impacted stream during the spring show a low pH (2.8-3.1) and contain high concentrations of Fe and trace elements (up to 61 mg L-1). Also, temporal variations of the REE concentrations were observed in the Corona

  5. Chemical abatement of acid mine drainage formation

    Steven, J.


    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.

  6. 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

  7. Bioreactor for acid mine drainage control

    Zaluski, Marek H.; Manchester, Kenneth R.


    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. 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

  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.


    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. Remediation of Acid Mine Drainage with Sulfate Reducing Bacteria

    Hauri, James F.; Schaider, Laurel A.


    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…

  11. Copper isotope fractionation in acid mine drainage

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


    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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)

  15. A case study of long-term geochemical evolution of coal waste rock drainage and its remediation

    The geochemical evolution of drainage from an 35 hectare orphan waste rock pile over a 15-year period was described. Spoil material at the site was generated during coal mining at 2 collieries between 1922 and 1970, and was comprised of grey and black shale, ash, coal, and coal dust. The heap was founded on an impermeable clay layer. Located in northern England, drainage from the rock heap was intercepted by a small compost wetland system installed in 1997. The waste rock heap was selectively capped in 1998. Water samples were collected and analyzed. Anion concentrations were determined using an ion chromatograph. The samples were filtered periodically. Acidity concentrations and flow rates were determined. Results of the study showed measurable improvements in water quality as a result of capping the heap. The study demonstrated that a combination of selective spoil capping and wetland treatment can serve as a low-cost solution to acid mine drainage at some abandoned mine sites. 9 refs., 1 tab., 1 fig.

  16. 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


    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. ...

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

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


    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

  18. 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


    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. 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)

  1. Use of EDTA in modified kinetic testing for contaminated drainage prediction from waste rocks: case of the Lac Tio mine.

    Plante, Benoît; Benzaazoua, Mostafa; Bussière, Bruno; Kandji, El-Hadji-Babacar; Chopard, Aurélie; Bouzahzah, Hassan


    The tools developed for acid mine drainage (AMD) prediction were proven unsuccessful to predict the geochemical behavior of mine waste rocks having a significant chemical sorption capacity, which delays the onset of contaminated neutral drainage (CND). The present work was performed in order to test a new approach of water quality prediction, by using a chelating agent solution (0.03 M EDTA, or ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) in kinetic testing used for the prediction of the geochemical behavior of geologic material. The hypothesis underlying the proposed approach is that the EDTA solution should chelate the metals as soon as they are released by sulfide oxidation, inhibiting their sorption or secondary precipitation, and therefore reproduce a worst-case scenario where very low metal attenuation mechanisms are present in the drainage waters. Fresh and weathered waste rocks from the Lac Tio mine (Rio tinto, Iron and Titanium), which are known to generate Ni-CND at the field scale, were submitted to small-scale humidity cells in control tests (using deionized water) and using an EDTA solution. Results show that EDTA effectively prevents the metals to be sorbed or to precipitate as secondary minerals, therefore enabling to bypass the delay associated with metal sorption in the prediction of water quality from these materials. This work shows that the use of a chelating agent solution is a promising novel approach of water quality prediction and provides general guidelines to be used in further studies, which will help both practitioners and regulators to plan more efficient management and disposal strategies of mine wastes. PMID:25604563

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

    Bernhard Dold


    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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    Corbett, D.M.


    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.

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

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


    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

  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


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

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


    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

  9. 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

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

    De Beer, Marinda


    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. Modelling of acid mine drainage (AMD in columns

    C. M. Bernardes de Souza


    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.

  12. 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

  13. Acid mine drainage biogeochemistry at Iron Mountain, California

    Gihring Thomas M


    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

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

    Bernhard Dold


    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.

  15. 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)

  16. 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


    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...

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

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


    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.

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

    Whitehead, P G; Prior, H


    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

  19. 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


    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.

  20. 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.


    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.

  1. 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.


    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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


    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...

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

    Magombedze, Chris


    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 ...

  7. 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.


    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.

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

    Rory Cowie


    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.

  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.


    Carolyn Payus; Olga David; Moh Pak Yan


    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...

  11. Quantification of Tinto River Sediment Microbial Communities: Importance of Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria and Their Role in Attenuating Acid Mine Drainage

    Sanchez-Andrea, I.; Knittel, K; Amann, R; Amils, R.; Sanz, J.L.


    Tinto River (Huelva, Spain) is a natural acidic rock drainage (ARD) environment produced by the bio-oxidation of metallic sulfides from the Iberian Pyritic Belt. This study quantified the abundance of diverse microbial populations inhabiting ARD-related sediments from two physicochemically contrasting sampling sites (SN and JL dams). Depth profiles of total cell numbers differed greatly between the two sites yet were consistent in decreasing sharply at greater depths. Although catalyzed repor...

  12. Integrated acid mine drainage management using fly ash.

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


    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. 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

  14. 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)


    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...

  16. 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

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

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


    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...


    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...

  20. 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

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

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


    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

  2. 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

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

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


    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

  4. Catalytic decarboxylations of fatty acids in immature oil source rocks

    李哲; 张再龙; 孙燕华; 劳永新; 蔺五正; 吴卫芳


    Catalytic decarboxylations of fatty acids in immature oil source rock samples were examined in this study. The rock samples were obtained from seven oil fields in China. In order to clarify the effect of each mineral matter in the rock samples, both the Fe M?ssbauer effect and the X-ray diffraction (XRD) were used to determine the relative content of each mineral in the rock samples, and the catalytic activities of several minerals like clays, carbonates and pyrite were determined. The Fe M?ssbauer effect and the XRD studies show that clays are the main mineral components in the rock samples except for the samples from Biyang and Jianghan in which the main mineral component is ankerite. The other mineral components include calcite, plagioclase, quartz, feldspar, siderite, aragonite, pyrite, analcime, pyroxene and anhydrite. The studies of the catalytic decarboxylations of fatty acids suggest that carbonates and pyrite can make much greater contributions to the catalytic activities of the rock samples than clays. It is found that the overall catalytic activities of the rock samples are well related to the relative contents and the catalytic activities of clays, carbonates and pyrite in the rock samples.

  5. 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

  6. 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


    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...

  7. 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

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

    Ng, Stephen; Malpas, John


    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




    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 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.

  10. 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)

  11. The zinc stable isotope signature of waste rock drainage in the Canadian permafrost region

    Highlights: • The leachate of a waste rock pile in Arctic Canada was monitored. • Zinc isotope ratios in the leachate were monitored over two field seasons. • Isotope ratios varied within −0.16‰ and +0.18‰ compared to IRMM 3702. • Processes governing zinc mobility appear not to influence the isotope signature of the leachate. - Abstract: Leachate from a well-instrumented experimental-scale waste-rock pile (test pile) at the Diavik Diamond mine, Northwest Territories, was monitored. The well-characterized waste rock consists of granite, pegmatitic granite and biotite schist with an average total sulfur and carbonate carbon concentration of 0.053 and 0.027 wt.%, respectively. The leachate emerging from the southern basal drain of the waste rock pile has been monitored since 2007. The zinc stable isotope footprint was characterized alongside standard monitoring parameters during two field seasons, May to November 2011 and 2012. The pH ranged between 4.3 and 6.8 and carbonate alkalinity was low or undetectable (<35 mg L−1 CaCO3). The pH was governed by the oxidation of sulfide minerals and the dissolution of primary carbonate minerals and secondary Al and Fe oxyhydroxysulfates and hydroxides. Dissolved Al and Fe concentrations averaged 6.78 mg L−1 and 175 μg L−1, respectively. The main processes controlling Zn concentrations in the range of 0.4 and 4.7 mg L−1 (average = 2.2 mg L−1) were the oxidative dissolution of sphalerite (ZnS) and the attenuation by secondary Fe and Al hydroxides. Zinc isotopes were fractionated mass dependently. Zinc isotope ratios, ranging between −0.16 and +0.18‰ (average = +0.05‰, n = 43) were consistent with values reported for sphalerite from other deposits. The deviations in isotope ratios (Δ = 0.36‰) were significant in comparison to analytical uncertainties (0.06‰). Zinc isotope ratios and concentrations were largely uncorrelated, suggesting that the processes affecting Zn mobility had little or no

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

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


    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

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

    Soucek, David John


    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 ...


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


    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...

  15. 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)

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

    Torres Sánchez, Ester


    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...

  17. 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)

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

    Lachmar, Thomas E.


    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

  19. The study of rare earth elements in farmer's well waters of the Podwiśniówka acid mine drainage area (south-central Poland)

    Migaszewski, Zdzisław M.; Gałuszka, Agnieszka; Migaszewski, Andrzej


    The principal objective of the current study was to elucidate the potential influence of acid mine drainage (AMD) pond on neighboring farmer's wells in the Podwiśniówka area (south-central Poland), using North American Shale Composite (NASC)-normalized rare earth element (REE) concentration profiles. The well waters generally displayed a distinctly positive Eu anomaly similar to that of parent rocks and AMD sediment. In contrast, the AMD pit pond water exhibited the typical roof-shaped NASC-n...

  20. 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

  1. 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)

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

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


    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

  3. Bioaccumulation of metals in constructed wetlands used to treat acid drainage

    Constructed wetlands are being used extensively as a potential mitigation for acid drainage. However, removal of metals to meet compliance requirements has varied among wetlands, ranging from partial to total success. In addition, wetlands are sinks for contaminants found in acid drainage, and bioaccumulation of these contaminants to levels that would adversely affect the food web is of growing concern. The primary objective of this project was to determine whether bioaccumulation of metals occurs in wetlands constructed for treatment of acid drainage. Water, sediment, plant and benthos samples were collected from two wetlands constructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority and a natural wetland in the spring and fall of 1992, and metal concentrations were determined. One of the constructed wetlands, Impoundment 1, has generally been in compliance for NPDES; the other, Widow's Creek, has never been in compliance. Preliminary results indicate similarities in sediment and plant metal concentrations between Impoundment 1 and the natural wetland and greater metal concentrations in the sediment and plants at Widow's Creek. Data also indicate that Mn, Zn, Cu, Ni, and Cr are being accumulated in the plants at each wetland. However, accumulation of metals by these plants probably accounts for only a small percentage of the removal of the annual metal load supplied to each wetland. Bioaccumulation of metals in the benthic organisms at each wetland is currently being investigated

  4. Polymerization on the rocks: beta-amino acids and arginine

    Liu, R.; Orgel, L. E.; Bada, J. L. (Principal Investigator)


    We have studied the accumulation of long oligomers of beta-amino acids on the surface of minerals using the 'polymerization on the rocks' protocol. We find that long oligopeptides of beta-glutamic acid which cannot be formed in homogeneous aqueous solution are accumulated efficiently on the surface of hydroxylapatite using 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDAC) as condensing agent. The EDAC-induced oligomerization of aspartic acid on hydroxylapatite proceeds even more efficiently. Hydroxylapatite can also facilitate the ligation of the tripeptide (glu)3. The 'polymerization on the rocks' scenario is not restricted to negatively-charged amino acids. Oligoarginines are accumulated on the surface of illite using carbonyldiimidizole (CDI) as condensing agent. We find that FeS2 catalyzes the CDI-induced oligomerization of arginine, although it does not adsorb oligoarginines. These results are relevant to the formation of polypeptides on the primitive earth.

  5. The zinc stable isotope signature of waste rock drainage in Arctic Canada

    Matthies, Romy; Blowes, David


    Leachate emerging from a pilot-scale waste rock pile of the Diavik diamond mine, Northwest Territories, was monitored. The well-characterized waste rock consists of granite, pegmatitic granite and biotite schist with an average total sulfur and carbonate carbon concentration of 0.053 and 0.027 wt. %, respectively. During the field seasons of 2011 and 2012, the Zn stable isotope footprint was characterized alongside standard monitoring parameters. pH ranged between 4.3 and 6.8 and carbonate alkalinity was low or undetectable. Al and Fe concentrations averaged 6.78 mg L-1 and 175 µg L-1, respectively. The pH and metal mobility were governed by sulfide oxidation and sorption and co-precipitation onto iron and aluminium hydroxides. The main processes controlling zinc mobility in the range of 0.4 and 4.7 mg L-1 was the oxidative dissolution of sphalerite (ZnS) in the biotite schist and the attenuation of zinc onto secondary iron and aluminium hydroxides and desorption upon the pH declining below the pHpzc. The isotope ratios between -0.16 and +0.19 ‰ (δ66Zn, avg = +0.05 ‰, n = 43) are consistent with values reported from other sphalerite containing deposits. Zn isotope ratios and concentrations were largely uncorrelated suggesting that the processes affecting Zn mobility had little or no impact on the Zn isotope signature. Data indicate, that the Zn isotope ratios of the waste rock leachate may be used as a fingerprint to track anthropogenic, mine-derived Zn sources under varying environmental conditions.

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

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


    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

  7. Regulating the mobility of Cd, Cu and Pb in an acid soil with amendments of phosphogypsum, sugar foam, and phosphoric rock

    Garrido, Fernando; Illera, V.; Campbell, C. G.; García González, María Teresa


    When acid soil has been contaminated by metals as a result of industrial discharges, accidental spills, or acid mine drainage it may be desirable to retain the metals in the soil rather than allow them to leach away. We have investigated the potential of phosphogypsum (PG), sugar foam (SF), and phosphoric rock (PR) to regulate the availability and mobility of Pb, Cd and Cu. We have also identified changes in attenuation during incubation for 1 year and the effect of aging on metal...

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

    Chapin, Thomas P.; Todd, Andrew S.


    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.

  9. 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

  10. Geochemistry of the Obey River Basin, north-central Tennessee: a case of acid mine water in the Karst drainage system

    The East Fork of the Obey River, a tributary of the Cumberland River, drains a 523 km2 basin along the western margin of the Cumberland Plateau. The upper basin lies on clastic rocks that include coals that were mined earlier in this century. The lower basin is drained through a deep gorge where the East Fork has cut downward into the Mississippian carbonate rocks. The lower basin is karstic, with a 9 km length of the river and most of its tributaries underdrained by conduit systems. Many of the upper basin tributaries of the East Fork are contaminated by acid mine drainage and have high levels of acidity, sulfate, iron and aluminium. As the acid mine waters sink in the limestone portions of the basin, they are buffered but acidity is not rapidly reduced and acid water appears at a large spring deep in the karst having survived 5 km of transport. Sulfate waters gradually convert to bicarbonate waters as more tributaries from carbonate rocks enter the system. Aluminium in solution decreases with increasing pH, and precipitates as colloidal sized particles. Although alkalinity increases in the lower reaches of the basin, most of the waters remain highly undersaturated with respect to calcite

  11. 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

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

    Silva, Luis F.O., E-mail: [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)


    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.

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

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


    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 (...

  14. 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

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

    Jage, Christopher Raymond


    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...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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)

  19. 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)


    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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


    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.

  2. Acid drainages of the pyritic sterile from the Pocos de Caldas uranium mine: environmental interpretation and implications

    Considering the planned closure of the first uranium mine and milling plant operating in Brazil, located in the Pocos de Caldas Plateau, in the State of Minas Gerais, in the next two years, there is the need to obtain basic information for its decommissioning. Special attention has been directed to the following critical areas: open pit, tailing, dam and waste rock piles, because these are the main sources of acid drainage generation. These waters cannot be allowed to flow in the external environment because in addition to sulphuric acid, there is a number of elements in concentration above those allowed by regulations. Among the waste piles (bota-foras BF) two of them BF-4 and BF-8, are in a process of acid generation, thus requiring more attention. The objective of this work was to simulate at the laboratory scale the oxidation and the reduction zones of BF-4. The experiments were conducted in acrylic columns, where the waste sample was kept under aerated and saturated conditions, in different columns. The control of the chemical (solubilized chemical species), physico-chemical (redox potential, pH, conductivity) and biological (bacterial activity) parameters has been carried out on the acid solutions generated by the chemical and biological reactions that occur at the waste. Although the results refer to a four month period, some relevant points can be highlighted, which will serve as a basis for further research. The mineralogical characterization identified the existence of other sulphides associated to pyrite with lower oxidation potential than the latter. The results obtained with the biological characterization for the two conditions studied revealed that the bacterial activity is more intense in the region in contact with air, than in saturated region. (author)

  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:


    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. The capacity of biochar made from common reeds to neutralise pH and remove dissolved metals in acid drainage.

    Mosley, Luke M; Willson, Philip; Hamilton, Benjamin; Butler, Greg; Seaman, Russell


    We tested the capacity of biochar (made at 450 °C from a common reed species) to neutralise pH and remove metals in two acid drainage waters (pH 2.6 and 4.6) using column leaching and batch mixing experiments. In the column experiments, the acid drainage water was neutralised upon passage through the biochar with substantial increases (4-5 pH units) in the leachate pH. In the batch experiments, the leachate pH remained above 6.5 when the drainage:biochar ratio was less than approximately 700:1 (L acid drainage:kg biochar) and 20:1 for the pH 4.6 and pH 2.6 drainage waters, respectively. Dissolved metal concentrations were reduced by 89-98 % (Fe ≈ Al > Ni ≈ Zn > Mn) in the leachate from the biochar. A key mechanism of pH neutralisation appears to be solid carbonate dissolution as calcite (CaCO3) was identified (via X-ray diffraction) in the biochar prior to contact with acid drainage, and dissolved alkalinity and Ca was observed in the leachate. Proton and metal removal by cation exchange, direct binding to oxygen-containing functional groups, and metal oxide precipitation also appears important. Further evaluation of the treatment capacity of other biochars and field trials are warranted. PMID:26004563

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

    Sánchez-Andrea, Irene, E-mail: [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)


    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.

  7. 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

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

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


    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. Determination of drainage parameters in the low-lying acid sulphate coastal wetlands of Kerala, India

    Mathew, E.K.; de Vos, J


    Kuttanad, the low-lying tract in Kerala State (South-west India), is a region where excess water has caused the agricultural production to remain low. This is even more severe in the potential acid sulphate soils of Kuttanad. Besides the problems inherent to these soils, the region also experiences floods, lack of fresh water and intrusion of saline water from the Arabian Sea. A subsurface drainage system consisting of 10 cm diameter clay tiles, each of 60 cm length, was installed in a pilot ...

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

    Williams K.M.; Turner A.M.


    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 ...

  11. 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.


    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...

  12. Mobility of Po and U-isotopes under acid mine drainage conditions: an experimental approach with samples from Río Tinto area (SW Spain)

    Under acid mine drainage (AMD) conditions, the solubilities and mobilities of many elements are vastly different from conditions prevailing in most natural waters. Studies are underway in the Río Tinto area (Iberian Pyrite Belt), in order to understand the behavior and mobility of long-lived U-series radionuclides under AMD conditions. A set of leaching experiments utilizing typical country rocks from the Tinto River basin, waste rock pile composite materials, iron-rich riverbed sediments and gossan (weathered naturally rock) were performed towards this purpose. Initial leaching experiments using distilled water kept in contact with solid material for 300, 100, 50 and 1 h resulted in very low concentrations of U with 234U/238U activity ratios close to equilibrium and activity concentrations of 210Po < 0.03 mBq/g. Leaching experiments performed with sulfuric acid media (0.1 and 0.01 M), and contact times between the solid and solution for 24 h were conducted to quantify the amount of U-isotopes and 210Po leached, and the radioactive disequilibria generated between the radionuclides in the leachate. These experiments show that Po mobility in acidic conditions (pH around 1–2) is very low, with 210Po activity in the leachate to be 6% in average for the solid sample. By contrast, mobility of U-isotopes is higher than that of Po, around 1.2%

  13. 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


    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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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)

  17. 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

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

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


    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

  19. The effects of ferulic acid on the pharmacokinetics of warfarin in rats after biliary drainage

    Li H


    Full Text Available Haigang Li,1,2 Yang Wang,1 Rong Fan,1 Huiying Lv,3 Hua Sun,4 Haitang Xie,4 Tao Tang,1 Jiekun Luo,1 Zian Xia1 1Department of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Laboratory of Ethnopharmacology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 2Department of Pharmacy, Changsha Medical University, 3Hunan Agricultural Product Processing Institute, Hunan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Changsha, 4Anhui Provincial Centre for Drug Clinical Evaluation, Yijishan Hospital of Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, People’s Republic of China Abstract: According to previous research studies, warfarin can be detected in human bile after oral administration. Ferulic acid (FA is the main bioactive component of many Chinese herbs for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. To elucidate the effects of FA on the pharmacokinetics of warfarin in rats after biliary drainage is necessary. Twenty rats were randomly divided into four groups: Group 1 (WN: healthy rats after the administration of warfarin sodium, Group 2 (WO: a rat model of biliary drainage after the administration of warfarin sodium, Group 3 (WFN: healthy rats after the administration of warfarin sodium and FA, and Group 4 (WFO: a rat model of biliary drainage after the administration of warfarin sodium and FA. Blood samples were collected at different time points after administration. The concentrations of blood samples were determined by ultraperformance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Comparisons between groups were performed according to the main pharmacokinetic parameters calculated by the DAS 2.1.1 software. The pharmacokinetic parameters showed a significant difference between the WN and WO groups, the WO group showed a decrease of 51% and 41.6% in area under the curve from 0 to time (AUC0–t and peak plasma concentration (Cmax, respectively, whereas time to Cmax (Tmax was delayed 3.27 folds. There were significant differences between the WFO and WFN groups, the WFO

  20. 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


    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

  1. Silicon Isotope Fractionation During Acid Water-Igneous Rock Interaction

    van den Boorn, S. H.; van Bergen, M. J.; Vroon, P. Z.


    Silica enrichment by metasomatic/hydrothermal alteration is a widespread phenomenon in crustal environments where acid fluids interact with silicate rocks. High-sulfidation epithermal ore deposits and acid-leached residues at hot-spring settings are among the best known examples. Acid alteration acting on basalts has also been invoked to explain the relatively high silica contents of the surface of Mars. We have analyzed basaltic-andesitic lavas from the Kawah Ijen volcanic complex (East Java, Indonesia) that were altered by interaction with highly acid (pH~1) sulfate-chloride water of its crater lake and seepage stream. Quantitative removal of major elements during this interaction has led to relative increase in SiO2 contents. Our silicon isotope data, obtained by HR-MC-ICPMS and reported relative to the NIST RM8546 (=NBS28) standard, show a systematic increase in &δ&&30Si from -0.2‰ (±0.3, 2sd) for unaltered andesites and basalts to +1.5‰ (±0.3, 2sd) for the most altered/silicified rocks. These results demonstrate that silicification induced by pervasive acid alteration is accompanied by significant Si isotope fractionation, so that alterered products become isotopically heavier than the precursor rocks. Despite the observed enrichment in SiO2, the rocks have experienced an overall net loss of silicon upon alteration, if Nb is considered as perfectly immobile. The observed &δ&&30Si values of the alteration products appeared to correlate well with the inferred amounts of silicon loss. These findings would suggest that &28Si is preferentially leached during water-rock interaction, implying that dissolved silica in the ambient lake and stream water is isotopically light. However, layered opaline lake sediments, that are believed to represent precipitates from the silica-saturated water show a conspicuous &30Si-enrichment (+1.2 ± 0.2‰). Because anorganic precipitation is known to discriminate against the heavy isotope (e.g. Basile- Doelsch et al., 2006

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.


    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.

  5. 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


    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.


    Carolyn Payus


    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

  7. 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

  8. 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


    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

  9. Mine drainage treatment

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


    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...

  10. Phosphorus release from phosphate rock and iron phosphate by low-molecular-weight organic acids

    XU Ren-kou; ZHU Yong-guan; David Chittleborough


    Low-molecular-weight(LMW) organic acids widely exist in soils, particularly in the rhizosphere. A series of batch experiments were carried out to investigate the phosphorus release from rock phosphate and iron phosphate by Iow-molecular-weight organic acids.Results showed that citric acid had the highest capacity to solubilize P from both rock and iron phosphate. P solubilization from rock phosphate and iron phosphate resulted in net proton consumption. P release from rock phosphate was positively correlated with the pKa values. P release from iron phosphate was positively correlated with Fe-organic acid stability constants except for aromatic acids, but was not correlated with PKa. Increase in the concentrations of organic acids enhanced P solubilization from both rock and iron phosphate almost linearrly. Addition of phenolic compounds further increased the P release from iron phosphate. Initial solution pH had much more substantial effect on P release from rock phosphate than from iron phosphate.

  11. 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


    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...

  13. 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

  14. Study of weathering velocity of rocks with uranium as a natural tracer. Application to two drainage basins of the north-east of Brazil

    Study on rock weathering rate, i.e. rock-soil interface formation, by measuring the elements dissolved in river waters. These elements are used as natural tracers. This work has been carried out in the drainage basin of Preto and Salgado Rivers, in Brazil. Conventional elements, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium have been utilized first and all dissolved salts have been used as natural tracers to allow comparison with other scientific works. Then, uranium has been used because it is not found in rain waters so that corrections are not necessary and because its abundance can be measured by α and γ spectrometry, and the 234U/238U ratio obtained, 234U being more rapidly dissolved during weathering. Another reason is that no interaction occurs between uranium and the biomass. It is then possible to find a geochemical balance for this area

  15. 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

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

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


    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

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

    Zhang, Mingliang; Wang, Haixia; Han, Xuemei


    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

  18. 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

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

    Williams K.M.


    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.

  20. 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


    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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.


    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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


    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

  6. 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.


    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.

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

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


    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

  8. 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

  9. 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


    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

  10. 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)

  11. 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

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

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


    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

  13. 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


    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

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

    Regeane M. Freitas


    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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


    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

  17. 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


    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.

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

    Loretta Feris


    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.

  19. 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


    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.

  20. 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


    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

  1. Treatment of acid drainage in uranium deposit by means of a natural wetland

    Acid drainage waters generated in the uranium deposit G-1, Western Bulgaria, were treated by means of a natural wetland located in the deposit. The waters had a pH in the range of about 2.4-3.9 and contained uranium and radium radionuclides, heavy metals (copper, zinc , cadmium, iron, manganese) arsenic and sulfates in concentrations usually much higher than the relevant permissible levels for waters intended for use in agriculture and/or industry. The wetland was characterized by abundant and emergent vegetation and a diverse microflora. Typha latifolia, Typha augustifolia and Potamogeton australis were the main plant species in the wetland but representatives of the genera Scirpus, Juncus, Elepchoris, Potamogeton, Carex and Poa as well as different algae were also present. The water flows through the wetland varied in the range at about 0.2-1,2 l/s reflecting water residence times in the wetland of about 10-50 hours. An efficient water cleanup took place in the wetland even during the cold winter months at ambient temperatures close to 0oC. The removal of pollutants was due to different processes but the microbial dissimilatory sulphate reduction and the sorption of pollutants on organic matter (living and dead plant and microbial biomass) and clays present in the wetland played the main role. (author)

  2. 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


    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

  3. 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

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

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


    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

  5. 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


    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

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

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


    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

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

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


    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

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

    Parviainen, Annika


    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...

  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


    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. 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


    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...

  11. 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.

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

    Oh, C.; Ji, S.


    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

  13. 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)


    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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


    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

  16. 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

  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


    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. 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

  19. 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

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

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


    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

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

    Machemer, Steven D.; Wildeman, Thomas R.


    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.


    J.B. Case


    The drainage of water from the emplacement drift is essential for the performance of the EBS. The unsaturated flow properties of the surrounding rock matrix and fractures determine how well the water will be naturally drained. To enhance natural drainage, it may be necessary to introduce engineered drainage features (e.g. drilled holes in the drifts), that will ensure communication of the flow into the fracture system. The purpose of the Water Drainage Model is to quantify and evaluate the capability of the drift to remove water naturally, using the selected conceptual repository design as a basis (CRWMS M&O, 1999d). The analysis will provide input to the Water Distribution and Removal Model of the EBS. The model is intended to be used to provide postclosure analysis of temperatures and drainage from the EBS. It has been determined that drainage from the EBS is a factor important to the postclosure safety case.

  3. 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.


    lowest discharge, from October to early December 1995. Underground reconnaissance was conducted once during dry-season conditions (September 1995) and twice during wet-season conditions (March 1995 and March 1996). The main tunnel was accessed to a distance of about 600 feet from the portal entrance. Water samples were collected at nine locations along the floor of the main tunnel and from several ore shoots to evaluate the contributions of water and dissolved constituents from different portions of the mine. Values of pH ranged from 2.5 to 6.4 at different underground locations, concentrations of copper ranged from 0.020 to 44 mg/L (milligram per liter), zinc from 6.3 to 160 mg/L, and cadmium from 0.010 to 0.47 mg/L. Discharge from the ore shoots ranged from less than 1 gallon per minute to more than 30 gallons per minute and was always a small component of the total mine flow compared with the tunnel floor drainage. During March 1996, the main flow originated in the northernmost portion of the underground workings (inaccessible) and mixed with an unknown quantity of water upwelling from flooded lower workings. High-water marks observed on the tunnel walls indicate that past blockages impounded more than 100,000 gallons of water. Sudden release of a large volume of metal-rich water could have serious effects on fish and other aquatic resources in the Trinity River. Because of the hydrogeologic setting, mine plugging is not likely to offer an effective long-term solution to the problem of acid mine drainage at the Copper Bluff mine. The underground workings are close to a state highway and underlie a 500-foot-high bluff with highly fractured rocks that seep during the wet season. Total plugging likely would result in additional uncontrolled seepage and could potentially destabilize the highway. Partial plugging to restrict flow during periods of highest discharge may provide benefits in terms of reduced risk of catastrophic release without the addi

  4. The occurrence of fatty acids in immature source rocks and their distribution characteris-tics


    The fatty acids in extractable bitumen and kerogen of immature source rocks of the Liaohe Basin and Jiyang sag were investigated in this study. The result showed that the bitumen fatty acids were mainly associated with non-hydrocarbon fraction and that the kerogen fatty acids with some tightly bound fatty acids were mainly bounded in a net structure of kerogen by ester bonds. For the investigated source rocks, the fatty acids in bitumen, bound fatty acids and tightly bound acids in kerogen ranged in 0.01% -0.073 9%, 0.005% - 0.045 5% and 0.005%- 0.010% respectively. Among the fatty acids analyzed in this study, mono-carboxylic acids, a, w-di-carboxylic acids and hydroxy acids accounted for 70%-100%, 0%-30% and <10% respec-tively. It was also found that the mono-carboxylic acids with longer chains mainly existed in bitumen, and that the a, w-di-carboxylic acids and hydroxy acids mainly existed in kerogen. From above, it was assumed that the mono-car- boxylic acids in bitumen might have played an important role in the hydrocarbon generation from fatty acids in imma-ture source rocks.

  5. The 2005 catastrophic acid crater lake drainage, lahar, and acidic aerosol formation at Mount Chiginagak volcano, Alaska, USA: Field observations and preliminary water and vegetation chemistry results

    Schaefer, J.R.; Scott, W.E.; Evans, William C.; Jorgenson, J.; McGimsey, R.G.; Wang, B.


    A mass of snow and ice 400-m-wide and 105-m-thick began melting in the summit crater of Mount Chiginagak volcano sometime between November 2004 and early May 2005, presumably owing to increased heat flux from the hydrothermal system, or possibly from magma intrusion and degassing. In early May 2005, an estimated 3.8??106 m3 of sulfurous, clay-rich debris and acidic water, with an accompanying acidic aerosol component, exited the crater through a tunnel at the base of a glacier that breaches the south crater rim. Over 27 km downstream, the acidic waters of the flood inundated an important salmon spawning drainage, acidifying Mother Goose Lake from surface to depth (approximately 0.5 km3 in volume at a pH of 2.9 to 3.1), killing all aquatic life, and preventing the annual salmon run. Over 2 months later, crater lake water sampled 8 km downstream of the outlet after considerable dilution from glacial meltwater was a weak sulfuric acid solution (pH = 3.2, SO4 = 504 mg/L, Cl = 53.6 mg/L, and F = 7.92 mg/L). The acid flood waters caused severe vegetation damage, including plant death and leaf kill along the flood path. The crater lake drainage was accompanied by an ambioructic flow of acidic aerosols that followed the flood path, contributing to defoliation and necrotic leaf damage to vegetation in a 29 km2 area along and above affected streams, in areas to heights of over 150 m above stream level. Moss species killed in the event contained high levels of sulfur, indicating extremely elevated atmospheric sulfurcontent. The most abundant airborne phytotoxic constituent was likely sulfuric acid aerosols that were generated during the catastrophic partial crater lake drainage event. Two mechanisms of acidic aerosol formation are proposed: (1) generation of aerosol mist through turbulent flow of acidic water and (2) catastrophic gas exsolution. This previously undocumented phenomenon of simultaneous vegetationdamaging acidic aerosols accompanying drainage of an acidic crater

  6. 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


    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

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

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


    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

  8. 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

  9. 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.


    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

  10. Acid neutralizing capacity and leachate results for igneous rocks, with associated carbon contents of derived soils, Animas River AML site, Silverton, Colorado

    Yager, Douglas B.; Stanton, Mark R.; Choate, LaDonna M.; Burchell, Alison


    Mine planning efforts have historically overlooked the possible acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) that local igneous rocks can provide to help neutralize acidmine drainage. As a result, limestone has been traditionally hauled to mine sites for use in neutralizing acid drainage. Local igneous rocks, when used as part of mine life-cycle planning and acid mitigation strategy, may reduce the need to transport limestone to mine sites because these rocks can contain acid neutralizing minerals. Igneous hydrothermal events often introduce moderately altered mineral assemblages peripheral to more intensely altered rocks that host metal-bearing veins and ore bodies. These less altered rocks can contain ANC minerals (calcite-chlorite-epidote) and are referred to as a propylitic assemblage. In addition, the carbon contents of soils in areas of new mining or those areas undergoing restoration have been historically unknown. Soil organic carbon is an important constituent to characterize as a soil recovery benchmark that can be referred to during mine cycle planning and restoration. This study addresses the mineralogy, ANC, and leachate chemistry of propylitic volcanic rocks that host polymetallic mineralization in the Animas River watershed near the historical Silverton, Colorado, mining area. Acid titration tests on volcanic rocks containing calcite (2 – 20 wt %) and chlorite (6 – 25 wt %), have ANC ranging from 4 – 146 kg/ton CaCO3 equivalence. Results from a 6-month duration, kinetic reaction vessel test containing layered pyritic mine waste and underlying ANC volcanic rock (saturated with deionized water) indicate that acid generating mine waste (pH 2.4) has not overwhelmed the ANC of propylitic volcanic rocks (pH 5.8). Sequential leachate laboratory experiments evaluated the concentration of metals liberated during leaching. Leachate concentrations of Cu-Zn-As-Pb for ANC volcanic rock are one-to-three orders of magnitude lower when compared to leached solution from

  11. 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

  12. Simulation experiments for evolution of fatty acids in immature source rocks


    The anhydrous, hydrous and bitumen-extrac- ted simulations were carried out for the immature source rocks from the Liaohe sag. It has been shown from the result that with increasing temperature in simulation experiments, the fatty acids content decreased at first and then increased. The decrease of fatty acids in immature rocks is presumably related to alkanes generation in immature oils, whilst the increase may be related to the fact that some additional fatty acids are generated from kerogen and the tightly bound fatty acids in kerogen are released as bound fatty acids in kerogen and unbound fatty acids in bitumen. The fact that the bitumen generated from kerogen contains fatty acids has demonstrated that some bound and tightly bound fatty acids in kerogen can be transferred into bitumen. The preferential fatty acids in the immature source rocks are found to be mono-carboxylic acids with longer chains, whilst krogen contains relatively more di-carboxylic acids. It has been found that the fatty acids in immature source rocks can be changed from that with more longer chains to that with more shorter chains when evolution extent has been increased. Based on simulation results and the fact that the majority of fatty acids in immature oils are those with longer chains, it is inferred that the contribution of fatty acids to forming alkanes in immature oils mainly takes place at the evolution stage with R0 (0.6%. The simulation experiments have also demonstrated that H2O could promote the generation of fatty acids with more di-carboxylic acids and delay alkanes formation from fatty acids.

  13. 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

  14. 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


    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.

  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.


    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



    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.


    Andreea Ciorba; R. Barreiro Lozano


    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...

  19. 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.


    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

  20. 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


    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

  1. 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


    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

  2. Quantification of Tinto River sediment microbial communities: importance of sulfate-reducing bacteria and their role in attenuating acid mine drainage.

    Sánchez-Andrea, Irene; Knittel, Katrin; Amann, Rudolf; Amils, Ricardo; Sanz, José Luis


    Tinto River (Huelva, Spain) is a natural acidic rock drainage (ARD) environment produced by the bio-oxidation of metallic sulfides from the Iberian Pyritic Belt. This study quantified the abundance of diverse microbial populations inhabiting ARD-related sediments from two physicochemically contrasting sampling sites (SN and JL dams). Depth profiles of total cell numbers differed greatly between the two sites yet were consistent in decreasing sharply at greater depths. Although catalyzed reporter deposition fluorescence in situ hybridization with domain-specific probes showed that Bacteria (>98%) dominated over Archaea (water column (pH 2.5 and +400 mV), the most abundant organisms were identified as iron-reducing bacteria: Acidithiobacillus spp. and Acidiphilium spp., probably related to the higher iron solubility at low pH. At the JL dam, characterized by a banded sediment with higher pH (4.2 to 6.2), more reducing redox potential (-210 mV to 50 mV), and a lower solubility of iron, members of sulfate-reducing genera Syntrophobacter, Desulfosporosinus, and Desulfurella were dominant. The latter was quantified with a newly designed CARD-FISH probe. In layers where sulfate-reducing bacteria were abundant, pH was higher and redox potential and levels of dissolved metals and iron were lower. These results suggest that the attenuation of ARD characteristics is biologically driven by sulfate reducers and the consequent precipitation of metals and iron as sulfides. PMID:22544246

  3. 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


    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

  4. Flow and geochemical modeling of drainage from Tomitaka mine, Miyazaki, Japan.

    Yamaguchi, Kohei; Tomiyama, Shingo; Metugi, Hideya; Ii, Hiroyuki; Ueda, Akira


    The chemistry and flow of water in the abandoned Tomitaka mine of Miyazaki, western Japan were investigated. This mine is located in a non-ferrous metal deposit and acid mine drainage issues from it. The study was undertaken to estimate the quantities of mine drainage that needs to be treated in order to avoid acidification of local rivers, taking into account seasonal variations in rainfall. Numerical models aimed to reproduce observed water levels and fluxes and chemical variations of groundwater and mine drainage. Rock-water interactions that may explain the observed variations in water chemistry are proposed. The results show that: (1) rain water infiltrates into the deeper bedrock through a highly permeable zone formed largely by stopes that are partially filled with spoil from excavations (ore minerals and host rocks); (2) the water becomes acidic (pH from 3 to 4) as dissolved oxygen oxidizes pyrite; (3) along the flow path through the rocks, the redox potential of the water becomes reducing, such that pyrite becomes stable and pH of the mine drainage becomes neutral; and (4) upon leaving the mine, the drainage becomes acidic again due to oxidation of pyrite in the rocks. The present numerical model with considering of the geochemical characteristics can simulate the main variations in groundwater flow and water levels in and around the Tomitaka mine, and apply to the future treatment of the mine drainage. PMID:26456615

  5. Hydrogeology and geochemistry of acid mine drainage in ground water in the vicinity of Penn Mine and Camanche Reservoir, Calaveras County, California; first-year summary

    Hamlin, S.N.; Alpers, C.N.


    Acid drainage from the Penn Mine in Calaveras County, California, has caused contamination of ground water between Mine Run Dam and Camanche Reservoir. The Penn Mine was first developed in the 1860's primarily for copper and later produced lesser amounts of zinc, lead, silver, and gold from steeply dipping massive sulfide lenses in metamorphic rocks. Surface disposal of sulfidic waste rock and tailings from mine operations has produced acidic drainage with pH values between 2.3 and 2.7 and elevated concentrations of sulfate and metals, including copper, zinc, cadmium, iron, and aluminum. During the mine's operation and after its subsequent abandonment in the late 1950's, acid mine drainage flowed down Mine Run into the Mokelumne River. Construction of Camanche Dam in 1963 flooded part of the Mokelumne River adjacent to Penn Mine. Surface-water diversions and unlined impoundments were constructed at Penn Mine in 1979 to reduce runoff from the mine, collect contaminated surface water, and enhance evaporation. Some of the contaminated surface water infiltrates the ground water and flows toward Camanche Reservoir. Ground- water flow in the study area is controlled by the local hydraulic gradient and the hydraulic characteristics of two principal rock types, a Jurassic metavolcanic unit and the underlying Salt Spring slate. The hydraulic gradient is west from Mine Run impoundment toward Camanche Reservoir. The median hydraulic conductivity was about 10 to 50 times higher in the metavolcanic rock (0.1 foot per day) than in the slate (0.002 to 0.01 foot per day); most flow occurs in the metavolcanic rock where hydraulic conductivity is as high as 50 feet per day in two locations. The contact between the two rock units is a fault plane that strikes N20?W, dips 20?NE, and is a likely conduit for ground-water flow, based on down-hole measurements with a heatpulse flowmeter. Analyses of water samples collected during April 1992 provide a comprehensive characterization of

  6. Contribution to the study of the weathering rate of minerals and rocks in the drainage basin of the Paraguacu river - Bahia - Brazil

    The concentrations of Na+, Mg++, Ca++, K+, SiO2, SO sup(=)4, alcalinity and pH have been determined for twenty-nine surface water samples of the Paraguacu river drainage basin, mainly in the Utinga River sub-basin. The stable isotope ratio of carbon 13C/12C as well as concentration of 14C was determined for some samples. The ion influence on local aerosol chemistry has also been subtracted from all samples. The analytical results were used to determine the current rate of weathering the rocks of this region and study the sources of dissolved carbon in this water. The analysis of the data shows that weathering processes are influenced by the local lithology. The data from them Utinga river suggests that dissolution of limestone contributes a large percentage of ions. The influence of groundwater in the river flow also brings high concentrations of Na+, Mg++ and Ca++ ions from aerosols, presumeably concentrated by evapo-transpiration. The presence of aerosols in the samples used is remarkable, the contribution of salts from silicate weathering is rather small. It is proposed that the dissolution of limestone and decomposition of organic matter might explain the origin of carbon in some of the samples but others appear to have suffered equilibration with atmospheric CO2. (Author)

  7. Epizootiology of Myxobolus cerebralis, the causative agent of salmonid whirling disease in the Rock Creek drainage of west-central Montana: 2004-2008.

    Granath, Willard O; Vincent, E Richard


    Whirling disease, caused by the myxozoan parasite Myxobolus cerebralis , remains a serious health threat to salmonid fish in the western United States. A previously published study on the epizootiology of whirling disease in the Rock Creek watershed of west-central Montana, conducted from 1998 to 2003, showed that the intensity of M. cerebralis infections in sentinel trout increased significantly throughout the drainage and that the range of M. cerebralis had expanded considerably. In addition, the parasite had apparently caused a dramatic decline in rainbow trout densities, but the brown trout population numbers had increased. This earlier study was continued from 2004 to 2008 and the results are reported here. It now appears that the disease intensity may have peaked in 2006 and is on the decline in this watershed. The decline cannot be directly attributed to a change in the prevalence of M. cerebralis-infected Tubifex tubifex, as these numbers remained statistically the same from 1998 to 2008. Similarly, changes in water temperature and water flow do not account for the decrease in disease intensity. However, it is possible that wild rainbow trout are developing resistance to the parasite, a phenomenon recently documented to be occurring in the Willow Creek Reservoir of southwest Montana. PMID:19891515


    Andreea Ciorba


    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.

  9. 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.


    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.

  10. Geochemical investigations on some of the Infra Cambrian Acid intrusive and volcanic rocks in Iran

    Geochemical investigations on some of the acid intrusive and volcanic rocks of Iran, which are attributed to the Infra cambrian, have been carried out to reveal their possible genetic relationships. These igneous rocks include: Do ran, Shah-Bolaghi, Sarve-Jahan, NE Ardakan - Yazd (Darbastegoon), south Mahabad, Bornavard (Tak nar), Zarigan, Narigan, Chardormaloo granites, Rizo and De zoo micro granites and volcanic rocks, Ga chin rhyolites (Bandar-Abass), and Ghareh-Dash (east of Sae en-De j). These intrusive s, except south Mahabad granodiorite, belong to the class of the alkali feldspathic granite to granitic rocks. Most of these rocks are hololeucocratic and devoid of ferro magnesian minerals. The volcanic rocks are mainly felsic (Rhyolite and Quartz porphyra) associated with vacillation's rocks. These suites of rocks plot on the chemical diagrams in sub alkaline field. Regarding to variations of Na2O, K2O and Ca O contents, they can further be subdivided into sodi c, potas sic, sodi-potas sic and sodi-calci c subgroups. The normalized values (MORB and chondritic) of their trace elements on the spider diagrams overlap each other indicates that some genetic relations ships exist among samples of white Doran Granite, Shahbolaghi, Sarve-Jahan and some Darbastegoon, in one hand, and Taknar, Narigan Granites, Gachin, Rizoo and Dezoo Rhyolites, on the other hand. The overlap also shows that the mentioned igneous bodies have been originated from continental crust and the samples of each groups, at least belong to a distinct tectonic al regime