Recovery/Removal of Metallic Elements from Acid Mine Drainage Using Ozone

Sato, Motoaki ; Robbins, Eleanora I.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Many problems associated with acid mine drainage (AMD) are caused by the complex way molecular oxygen (O2) oxidizes reduced matter at surface temperatures. In aqueous solution, O2 kinetically "prefers" to go through the formation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as an intermediate. Being innately unstable, H2O2 is quickly decomposed back to water and oxygen in the presence of dissolved Fe and Mn, both catalysts for the decomposition. Direct addition of H2O2 to AMD produced similar results. Ozone (O3) is a much faster and stronger oxidizer than either O2 or H2O2. In the laboratory, O3 rapidly precipitated Mn, Fe, Ni, Co, Pb, and Ag even in acidic solutions. The experiments indicate that AMD can probably be processed with ozone and metal oxides/hydroxide recovered in flow systems using only septic-tank-size reactors and small sedimentation ponds.
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