Laboratory and field-scale evaluation of low-ph FE(II) oxidation at several sites in Pennsylvania

Trinh C. Desa, Juliana F. Brown, William D. Burgos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The Hughes Borehole is located in the bituminous coal region of southcentral Pennsylvania and drains an underground mine complex of ca. 2,950 ha. The borehole discharge averages approximately 63 L/s of acidic (pH 4, 230 mg/L acidity) mine drainage that contains elevated concentrations of Fe(II) (100 mg/L) and numerous trace metals. Long-term monitoring of the site showed that biological Fe(II) oxidation occurred without human intervention and produced a 0.6 ha iron mound up to 2 m deep. On-mound channel reactors along with laboratory-scale "gutter" reactors were constructed to determine conditions that can exploit biological Fe(II) oxidation for passive treatment. Dissolved Fe(II) was much more efficiently oxidized from gutter reactors that contained iron mound sediment than ones without any sediment. Residence times of 5-10 h were shown to oxidize ~100% of dissolved influent Fe(II) and remove 75% of dissolved total Fe. The Lower Red Eyes discharge (pH 4, 1,420 mg/L acidity, 540 mg/L Fe(II)) is also located in south-central Pennsylvania and is unique in that it emerges in the middle of a state forest and produces a spectacular series of iron terraces without ever being "captured" by any adjacent stream. Similar laboratory-scale experiments were conducted with intact sediment "chunks" to measure the kinetics of Fe(II) oxidation at various locations on the iron mound. Residence times of 10 h were shown to oxidize 55% of dissolved influent Fe(II) and remove 27% of dissolved total Fe. Rates of Fe(II) oxidation were not strongly correlated to dissolved oxygen but were affected by the water column height overlying the sediment chunk. While the water chemistry was distinctly different at these two sites, both showed that Fe(II) oxidation was strongly dependent on hydraulic residence time. Therefore, a consistent design approach may be feasible for sites that wish to exploit low-pH Fe(II) oxidation for treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationJoint Mining Reclamation Conf. 2010 - 27th Meeting of the ASMR, 12th Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conf. and 4th Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Mined Land Reforestation Conf.
PublisherAmerican Society of Mining and Reclamation
Pages190-203
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781617820526
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
EventJoint Mining Reclamation Conference 2010 - 27th Annual Meeting of the ASMR, 12th Annual Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conf. and 4th Annual Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Mined Land Reforestation Conf. - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 5 2010Jun 11 2010

Publication series

NameJoint Mining Reclamation Conf. 2010 - 27th Meeting of the ASMR, 12th Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conf. and 4th Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Mined Land Reforestation Conf.
Volume1

Other

OtherJoint Mining Reclamation Conference 2010 - 27th Annual Meeting of the ASMR, 12th Annual Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conf. and 4th Annual Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Mined Land Reforestation Conf.
CountryUnited States
CityPittsburgh, PA
Period6/5/106/11/10

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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    Desa, T. C., Brown, J. F., & Burgos, W. D. (2010). Laboratory and field-scale evaluation of low-ph FE(II) oxidation at several sites in Pennsylvania. In Joint Mining Reclamation Conf. 2010 - 27th Meeting of the ASMR, 12th Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conf. and 4th Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Mined Land Reforestation Conf. (pp. 190-203). (Joint Mining Reclamation Conf. 2010 - 27th Meeting of the ASMR, 12th Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conf. and 4th Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Mined Land Reforestation Conf.; Vol. 1). American Society of Mining and Reclamation. https://doi.org/10.21000/jasmr10010190