Co-treatment of acid mine drainage and municipal wastewater effluents: Emphasis on the fate and partitioning of chemical contaminants

Vhahangwele Masindi, Spyros Foteinis, Efthalia Chatzisymeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The co-management of different wastewater matrices can lead to synergistic effects in terms of pollutants removal. Here, the co-treatment of real municipal wastewater (MWW) and acid mine drainage (AMD) is comprehensively examined. Under the identified optimum co-treatment condition, i.e., 15 min contact time, 1:7 AMD to MWW liquid-to-liquid ratio, and ambient temperature and pH, the metal content of AMD (e.g., Al, Fe, Mn, Zn) was grossly (~95%) reduced along with sulphate (~92%), while MWW’s phosphate content was practically removed (≥99%). The PHREEQC geochemical model predicted the formation of (oxy)-hydroxides, (oxy)-hydro-sulphates, metals hydroxides, and other mineral phases in the produced sludge, which were confirmed using state-of-the-art analytical techniques such as FE-SEM-EDS and XRD. The key mechanisms governing pollutants removal include dilution, precipitation, co-precipitation, adsorption, and crystallization. Beneficiation and valorisation of the produced sludge and co-treated effluent could promote resource recovery paradigms in wastewater management. Overall, the co-treatment of AMD and MWW appear to be feasible, yet not practical due to the excessive volume of MWW that is required to attain the desired treatment quality. Future research could focus on chemical addition for the control of the pH and the use of (photo)-Fenton for enhancing treatment efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number126677
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Volume421
Early online date21 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Acid rock drainage (ARD)
  • sewage
  • PHREEQC geochemical model
  • Environmental protection
  • ICP-MS
  • FIB FESEM-EDS
  • FTIR
  • XRF
  • XRD

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Co-treatment of acid mine drainage and municipal wastewater effluents: Emphasis on the fate and partitioning of chemical contaminants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this