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Water Res. 2003 Jan;37(1):108-20.

Substrate characterisation for a subsurface reactive barrier to treat colliery spoil leachate.

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FaberMaunsell, Dunedin House, 25 Ravelston Terrace, Edinburgh EH4 3TP, UK.


Subsurface permeable reactive barriers (PRB) have been used to successfully treat acidic mine drainage in Canada and offer great potential for doing the same in the United Kingdom. A PRB for the treatment of colliery spoil leachate from a site near Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, has been designed. The selection of the reactive media to be used is of paramount importance, with particular reference to permeability and reactivity. A number of reactive media mixtures containing varying proportions of cattle slurry screenings, green waste compost, calcite limestone chips and pea gravel were prepared and their respective permeabilities and reactivities were investigated. Media mixtures containing 50% 10 mm grade calcite limestone chips showed better alkalinity addition and metals removal than a blank containing 50% pea gravel. A media mixture containing 50% limestone chips and 50% green waste compost showed a 24 h period to achieve maximum addition of alkalinity and maximum removal of acidity and metals. Mixtures containing 25% green waste compost and 25% slurry screenings achieved maximum addition/removal in 4 h. The likely presence of iron sulphide in samples drawn from test vessels during both test runs indicates that bacterial sulphate reduction is occurring in this composite.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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