Skip to main content

Designing a Wastewater Treatment Plant to Remove Sulfate at an Iron Mine

Buy Article:

$17.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

The sulfate anion, SO4 2−, which is traditionally considered a benign inorganic contaminant, has been largely ignored in processes designed to treat acid mine drainage (AMD)–contaminated waters, with efforts for cleanup focused more on pH adjustment and the removal of more acutely toxic inorganic contaminants such as copper, cadmium, arsenic, antimony, selenium, and other inorganic contaminants that often occur as a result of AMD. However, recent research has shown that sulfate–reducing bacteria (SRB) can generate highly toxic and bioavailable methylmercury in the environment by methylating inorganic Hg2+ and converting inorganic mercuric compounds into methylmercury, and sulfate–removal has started becoming a priority in wastewater treatment processes at various mine sites. The primary objective of this study is to design a wastewater treatment facility that will remove sulfate and total dissolved solids (TDS) at an optimal rate from a tailings basin at a taconite mine. Because of the particular water chemistry characteristics of the tailings pond water at the mine site and the treatment objectives, membrane filtration, with microfiltration (MF), nanofiltration (NF), and reverse osmosis (RO) systems, was ultimately chosen for sulfate–removal at the wastewater treatment plant. The presentation will focus on the theories behind why sulfate removal is necessary at some sites, the advantages and disadvantages of the four major established sulfate–removal treatment technologies, and the scientific and engineering rationales behind choosing a membrane removal system in this project and the detailed bench scale testing that was conducted to establish the design criteria of the full–scale membrane sulfate treatment plant.

Keywords: NF; RO; Sulfate removal; ZLD; ettringite; gypsum; membrane filtration; methylmercury; mine water treatment; nanofiltration; reverse osmosis; zero liquid discharge

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864710798193671

Publication date: January 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
wef/wefproc/2010/00002010/00000011/art00045
dcterms_title,dcterms_description,pub_keyword
6
5
20
40
5

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more