Alkalinity Generation in a Novel Multi-stage High-strength Acid Mine Drainage and Municipal Wastewater Passive Co-treatment System

W. H. Strosnider, B. K. Winfrey, R. W. Nairn

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Passive co-treatment of high-strength acid mine drainage (AMD) and municipal wastewater (MWW) was examined in a laboratory-scale, four-stage continuous flow reactor system with a total residence time of 6.6 d. Synthetic AMD of pH 2.60 and an acidity of 1,870 mg/L (as CaCO3) was mixed at a 1:2 ratio with raw MWW (pH 7.67, 288 mg/L alkalinity (as CaCO3), and 265 mg/L BOD5) from the City of Norman, Oklahoma and introduced into the system. Alkalinity generated by limestone dissolution and bacterial SO4 2- reduction (BSR) processes was sufficient to support various metal removal processes and produce an effluent with circumneutral pH (6.98) and a net alkalinity of 10.4 mg/L (as CaCO3). Alkalinity generation from limestone dissolution was comparable with conventional AMD passive treatment systems. BSR proceeded at a relatively high rate (0. 56 mol/m3 day) despite inhibitory pH and metals concentrations. Results indicate that the diverse electron donors in the MWW may be as suitable for BSR and their supporting microbial communities as commonly used substrates, presenting an opportunity to use a common waste as a resource for passive treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalMine Water and the Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Andes
  • Bicarbonate Alkalinity
  • Bolivia
  • Calcite
  • Sewage

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