Author(s): Klein R, Tischler JS, Mhling M, Schlmann M
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Abstract Caused by the oxidative dissolution of sulfide minerals, mine waters are often acidic and contaminated with high concentrations of sulfates, metals, and metalloids. Because the so-called acid mine drainage (AMD) affects the environment or poses severe problems for later use, treatment of these waters is required. Therefore, various remediation strategies have been developed to remove soluble metals and sulfates through immobilization using physical, chemical, and biological approaches. Conventionally, iron and sulfate-the main pollutants in mine waters-are removed by addition of neutralization reagents and subsequent chemical iron oxidation and sulfate mineral precipitation. Biological treatment strategies take advantage of the ability of microorganisms that occur in mine waters to metabolize iron and sulfate. As a rule, these can be grouped into oxidative and reductive processes, reflecting the redox state of mobilized iron (reduced form) and sulfur (oxidized form) in AMD. Changing the redox states of iron and sulfur results in iron and sulfur compounds with low solubility, thus leading to their precipitation and removal. Various techniques have been developed to enhance the efficacy of these microbial processes, as outlined in this review.
This article was published in Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol
and referenced in Hydrology: Current Research