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Development of a novel sizing approach for passive mine water treatment systems based on ferric iron sedimentation kinetics

Title data

Opitz, Joscha ; Bauer, Martin ; Alte, Matthias ; Peiffer, Stefan:
Development of a novel sizing approach for passive mine water treatment systems based on ferric iron sedimentation kinetics.
In: Water Research. (21 February 2023) . - 119770.
ISSN 0043-1354

Abstract in another language

The removal of dissolved and particulate iron (Fe) from contaminated mine drainage is an omnipresent challenge in, and legacy of, the mining industry worldwide. The sizing of settling ponds and surface-flow wetlands for passive Fe removal from circumneutral, ferruginous mine water is based either on a linear (concentration-independent) area-adjusted removal rate or flat assignment of an experience-based retention time, neither of which reflects the underlying Fe removal kinetics. In this study, we evaluated the Fe removal performance of a pilot-scale passive system operating in three identical, parallel lines for treatment of mining-influenced, ferruginous seepage water to determine and parameterise a robust, application-oriented model approach for sizing of settling ponds and surface-flow wetlands, each. By systematically varying flow rates (and thus residence time), we were able to demonstrate that the sedimentation-driven removal of particulate hydrous ferric oxides in settling ponds may be approximated by a simplified first-order approach at low to moderate Fe levels. The first-order coefficient was found in the order of 2.1(±0.7) × 10−2 h−1, which corresponds well with previous laboratory studies. The sedimentation kinetics may be combined with the preceding ferrous Fe(II) oxidation kinetics to estimate the required residence time for pre-treatment of ferruginous mine water in settling ponds. In contrast, Fe removal in surface-flow wetlands is more complex due to the phytologic component, which is why we advanced the established area-adjusted Fe removal approach by parameterising the underlying concentration-dependency for polishing of pre-treated mine water. The quantitative results of this study provide a novel, conservative approach for customised sizing of settling ponds and wetlands in integrated passive mine water treatment systems.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: passive mine water treatment; ferric iron; sedimentation kinetics;
Rate-determining iron removal processes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Hydrology > Chair Hydrology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stefan Peiffer
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2023 07:29
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2023 07:29