Application of Innovative Remediation Processes to Mining Effluents contaminated by Heavy Metals
1 Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering, CNR, Roma, Italy
2 Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria, Facultad de Geologia Minas y Metalurgia, Escuela de Metalurgia, Lima, Perù
3 Institute of Geotechnics, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Kosice, Slovakia
The scope of the paper was to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the remediation processes by electrowinning and selective sequential precipitation, for toxic metals removal from acid mine drainage. By electrochemical experiments, high metals removal has been achieved: in particular, by Zn and Mn electrodeposition, it was possible to achieve about 93-99% Zn and Mn removal (as MnO2), with a relatively low energetic consumption. The principle of the heavy metals selective sequential precipitation is the combined application of sodium hydroxide solution and hydrogen sulfide produced by sulfate-reducing bacteria. For the hydrogen sulfide production the sulphate-reducing bacteria of genus Desulfovibrio was used. The selective sequential precipitation process reaches the selective precipitation of chosen metals with 99% efficiency – Fe, As, Al and Mn in the form of metal hydroxides, Cu and Zn as metal sulfides.
Key words: heavy metals / Acid Mine Drainage / bioprecipitation / electrowinning / selective sequential precipitation
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