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Treatment of mine drainage from abandoned mines by biological iron oxidation and limestone neutralization.

Harris RL; Tiernan TO; Hinders J; Solch JG; Huntsman BE; Taylor ML
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, OFR 204-84, 1984 Jan; :1-113
To treat or mediate small flows from acid mine drainage (AMD) sources, a low-cost and low-maintenance treatment method was developed and field tested at an AMD site in Ohio. Phase I studies commenced in June 1982 using a portable bog with five chambers of sphagnum moss (41.3 ft3) to one of limestone (8.3 ft3). AMD flow rates ranged from 2 to 18 gal/h-1(0.12 to 1.1 L/Min-1). Phase II studies began in July 1983 during which the chamber ratio of 5:1 for sphagnum to limestone was altered to 4:2. AMD flows averaged 22 gal/h-1 (1.4 L.Min-1). During Phase II, the first chamber length of 12 linear ft (8.3 ft3) of sphagnum moss was found to reduce on average 88% of the ferrous iron at a rate of 5.5 mg/L-1.H-1 (1.8 mg/L-1.ft-3 of moss). Four chamber lengths or 48 linear ft (33.0 ft3) of moss reduced on average 50% to 60% of the total iron concentrations in the AMD water at a rate of 1.8 mg/L-1.H-1 (0.6 mg/L-1.ft-3 of moss). Once the AMD flow was stabilized, the portable bog was found to be effective in treating the low-flow AMD by increasing ph and reducing the acidity, ferrous iron, and total iron concentrations.
Acid mine drainage; Pollution; Limestone; Portable bog; Neutralization; Bogs Sphagnum moss; Waste treatment; Water purification
Publication Date
Document Type
CP; Final Contract Report
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OFR 204-84; Contract-J01133033
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, OFR 204-84
Performing Organization
Peer Consultants, Inc., Rockville, Maryland
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division