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MODULAR FIELD-BIOREACTOR FOR ACID MINE DRAINAGE TREATMENT
ZALUSKI, M. H., L. FIGUEROA, H. JOYCE, D. R. BLESS, AND J. BOLIS. MODULAR FIELD-BIOREACTOR FOR ACID MINE DRAINAGE TREATMENT. Presented at Society for Environmetnal Toxicology & Chemistry, Baltimore, MD, November 13 - 17, 2005.
To inform the public.
The presentation focuses on the improvements to engineered features of a passive technology that has been used for remediation of acid rock drainage (ARD). This passive remedial technology, a sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) bioreactor, takes advantage of the ability of SRB that, if supplied with a source of organic carbon, can increase pH and alkalinity of the water and immobilize metals by precipitating them as metal sulfides or hydroxides. The remoteness of ARD sites and their abundance require that the design of an SRB bioreactor be simple and inexpensive. Therefore, bioreactors need to be designed to a size that allows for transportation using backcountry roads. To satisfy these requirements a design for a modular treatment system was developed using reactive cartridges (RC) that are prefabricated as 8-foot diameter vessels. The RC has been designed so it supports the prime functional aspects of a bioreactor such as high permeability, ample supply of organic carbon, ability to maintain anaerobic conditions, and capacity to accumulate precipitated metals and means for their periodical removal, as needed. A bioreactor system consisting of four RCs has been installed at the McClelland tunnel adit located east of Dumont, Colorado. The system performance, including changes in composition of organic carbon in two reactive substrates, is being monitored. The RC design was developed by the Mine Waste Technology Program (MWTP) at MSE Technology Applications (MSE), Butte, Montana, USA. The work was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and was jointly administered by the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory and performed at the Western Environmental Technology Office under DOE contract number DE-AC09-96EW96405.