Passive remediation of acid precipitation using crabshell chitin: A treatability study

A. F. Caporuscio, Rachel Alice Brennan

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

Abstract

The South Branch of Kinzua Creek is located within the Allegheny National Forest in McKean County, Pennsylvania. Due to anthropogenically induced acid precipitation and low buffering capacity of the native surface geology, low pHs have been observed in the tributaries of the creek ranging from 4.30 to 4.34, many with low levels of aluminum (0.6 mg/L). Since the South Branch of Kinzua Creek is managed as a Wilderness Trout Water, this area is of great concern to The Pennsylvania State Fish and Boat Commission. It is hoped that by restoring the water quality of tributaries in this area, the re-establishment of self-sustaining populations of Brook Trout populations will soon follow. One method that has been used to help restore circum-neutral pH conditions to streams affected by acid precipitation is to treat stormwater runoff from roads using ditch-lined passive treatment systems. Traditionally, limestone rock has been used in these systems as an alkaline agent to neutralize the acidity of the runoff. In this laboratory study, we evaluated the use of crab-shell chitin as an alternative source of alkalinity to supply additional buffering capacity to the watershed. In batch microcosm experiments containing acid rain impacted stream water, crab-shell chitin increased the pH from 3.1 to 7.6 - 8.2 and the alkalinity from 0 to 37.2 - 136.8 mg/L as CaCO 3 after treatment times of 6 h - 10 d, respectively. Similarly, under continuous-flow conditions, crab-shell chitin maintained an average pH of 7.5, an alkalinity of 634 mg/L as CaCO 3, and removed aluminum for the duration of the 54-d study. By comparison, limestone only reached a maximum alkalinity of 22.8 mg/L as CaCO 3, and was not able to maintain aluminum removal. This work suggests that crab-shell chitin may be an effective alternative substrate for the restoration of waters impacted by acid rain due to its ability to provide excess alkalinity and remove metals, all with lower mass requirements than limestone.

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.
Pages98-122
Number of pages25
StatePublished - Dec 1 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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  • Cite this

    Caporuscio, A. F., & Brennan, R. A. (2010). Passive remediation of acid precipitation using crabshell chitin: A treatability study. 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. 98-122). (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).