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Passive treatment of ferruginous mine waters using high surface area media

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Adam Jarvis, Professor Paul Younger


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Rapid oxidation and accretion of iron onto high surface area media has been investigated as a potential passive treatment option for ferruginous, net-alkaline minewaters. Two pilot-scale reactors were installed at a site in County Durham, UK. Each 2.0m high cylinder contained different high surface area plastic trickling filter media. Ferruginous minewater was fed downwards over the media at various flow-rates with the objective of establishing the efficiency of iron removal at different loading rates. Residence time of water within the reactors was between 70 and 360s depending on the flow-rate (1 and 12l/min, respectively). Average influent total iron concentration for the duration of these experiments was 1.43mg/l (range 1.08-1.84mg/l; n=16), whilst effluent iron concentrations averaged 0.41mg/l (range 0.20-1.04mg/l; n=15) for Reactor A and 0.38mg/l (range 0.11-0.93mg/l; n=16) for Reactor B. There is a strong correlation between influent iron load and iron removal rate. Even at the highest loading rates (approximately 31.6g/day) 43% and 49% of the total iron load was removed in Reactors A and B, respectively. At low manganese loading rates (approximately 0.50-0.90g/day) over 50% of the manganese was removed in Reactor B. Iron removal rate (g/m3/d) increases linearly with loading rate (g/day) up to 14g/d and the slope of the line indicates that a mean of 85% of the iron is removed. In conclusion, it appears that the oxidation and accretion of ochre on high surface area media may be a promising alternative passive technology to constructed wetlands at certain sites. Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jarvis AP, Younger PL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Water Research

Year: 2001

Volume: 35

Issue: 15

Pages: 3643-3648

ISSN (print): 0043-1354

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2448

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/S0043-1354(01)00089-6

PubMed id: 11561625


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