Sulfate reduction - designing systems for long-term treatment
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 2002
Although lifetime estimates for sulfate reduction based on total substrate carbon typically range from 20 to 30 years, field and laboratory experiments showed that rates of sulfate reduction decreased over time as readily available organic material was consumed. When the rate of acid input exceeded the rate of sulfate reduction, alkalinity was removed from the substrate, the pH decreased and metals increased. Output pH increased from 4 to more than 6 after the system was shut down for several weeks and the rate of acid input was reduced. Successful long-term treatment requires a design based on the input pH and the long-term organic decomposition rate.