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J Hazard Mater. 2008 Aug 15;156(1-3):23-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2007.11.123. Epub 2007 Dec 14.

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

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Escuela de Geología, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia.


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

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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