Role of Oxygen Transfer in Acid Mine Drainage Treatment
Description:The U.S. Bureau of Mines formulated a new mathematical model to characterize iron oxidation. The new model is intended to replace the currently used model, recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for most acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment applications. The new model was evaluated in a series of five synthetic AMD treatment tests. The initial ferrous iron concentrations ranged from 800 to 2,400 mg/L. In these tests, the Bureau model underpredicted the measured ferrous iron oxidation rates by a range of 3.24 to 8.03 pct. This was considered to be in close agreement after consideration of experimental error. The model proposed by the EPA was also evaluated using the same test data. The EPA model underpredicted the oxidation rates by a range of 77 to 100 pct in four tests and overpredicted by 19 pct in one test. The model formulated by the Bureau expresses that the rate of iron oxidation is a function of a treatment system's oxygen transfer efficiency and is independent of ferrous iron concentration when treated to near-neutral pH's. A new test method for evaluating oxygen transfer in flow-through reactors is also described.
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