Author(s): Bekmezci OK, Ucar D, Kaksonen AH, Sahinkaya E
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Abstract The treatment of synthetic acid mine drainage (AMD) water (pH 3.0-6.5) containing sulfate (3.0-3.5 g L(-1)) and various metals (Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, and Zn) was studied in an ethanol-fed sulfate-reducing 4-compartment anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) at 32°C. The reactor was operated for 160 days at different chemical oxygen demand (COD)/sulfate ratios, hydraulic retention times (HRT), pH, and metal concentrations to study the robustness of the process. The last compartment of the reactor was aerated at different rates to study the bio-oxidation of sulfide to elemental sulfur. The highest sulfate reduction efficiency (88\%) was obtained with a feed sulfate concentration of 3.5 g L(-1), COD/sulfate mass ratio of 0.737, feed pH of 3.0 and HRT of 2 days without aeration in the 4th compartment. The corresponding COD removal efficiency was about 92\%. The alkalinity produced in the sulfidogenic ethanol oxidation neutralized the acidic mine water from pH 3.0-4.5 to pH 7.0-8.0. Effluent soluble and total heavy metal concentrations were substantially reduced with removal efficiencies generally higher than 99\%, except for Mn (25-77\%). Limited aeration in the 4th compartment of ABR promoted incomplete oxidation of sulfide to elemental sulfur rather than complete oxidation to sulfate. Depending on the aeration rate and HRT, 32-74\% of produced sulfide was oxidized to elemental sulfur. This study demonstrates that by optimizing operating conditions, sulfate reduction, metal removal, alkalinity generation, and excess sulfide oxidation can be achieved in a single ABR treating AMD. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Hazard Mater
and referenced in Hydrology: Current Research