Using fossil fuel combustion products to reduce acid mine drainage sludge volumes

Hesbach, P. A. ; Lamey, S. C.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
This study evaluated the use of regionally produced coal combustion products to neutralize and remove metals from acid mine drainage (AMD). Synthetic AMD mixtures were treated with a number of fly ashes and fluidized bed combustion (FBC) ashes. All of the ashes reduced the volume of the sludge produced and gave a faster settling rate than the sludge produced by treatment with lime. Faster settling allows greater throughput rates. In addition, the FBC ashes, which generally contain alkaline components used for sulfur capture, completely neutralized the acidity and, if desired, raised the pH above 10. The fly ashes, on the other hand, reduced the final volume of sludge but required additional neutralizing agents to attain a pH >5. The pH of the AMD can be taken to above 10 to insure complete removal of manganese, or it can be taken to a more neutral pH of 7 or 8 to allow for the safe introduction of the aqueous phase into ponds or streams. The process combines two industrial waste products to reduce the disposal volume of one of the waste products and to produce an environmentally safe aqueous discharge.
Full Article Download:
(437 kb)