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Treatment of mine water for the fast removal of zinc and lead by wood ash amended biochar

STUART CAIRNS, Aaron Todd, Iain Robertson Orcid Logo, Patrick Byrne, Tom Dunlop Orcid Logo

Environmental Science: Advances, Volume: 4

Swansea University Authors: STUART CAIRNS, Iain Robertson Orcid Logo, Tom Dunlop Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1039/d2va00085g

Abstract

Lead and zinc mines are a primary source of environmental (post)-transition metal contamination resulting in major water pollution. In this study, the use of biochar amended with wood ash (WAS) was evaluated as a method to remediate zinc and lead contaminated mine water. Water from Nantymwyn lead mi...

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Published in: Environmental Science: Advances
ISSN: 2754-7000
Published: Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) 2022
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa60891
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Abstract: Lead and zinc mines are a primary source of environmental (post)-transition metal contamination resulting in major water pollution. In this study, the use of biochar amended with wood ash (WAS) was evaluated as a method to remediate zinc and lead contaminated mine water. Water from Nantymwyn lead mine, with zinc and lead concentrations as high as 12.1 mg L−1 and 1.7 mg L−1 respectively was used. The contact time for WAS to immobilise zinc and lead (1 min to 24 h), immobilisation mechanisms and maximum measured removal of lead and zinc were studied. FTIR spectroscopy and XPS was used to characterise WAS and the aqueous modelling program PHREEQC (pH redox equilibrium) was used to analyse mine water speciation. The fast removal performance of a biochar is a key indicator of its viability to be used as a green remediator. If the required contact time to remediate contaminated water is too long the sorbent becomes impractical. This study demonstrated that WAS removed 97% of zinc and 86% of lead within the first minute of contact with the mine water (0.5 g of WAS per 20 mL of mine water), with a maximum measured removal of 14.8 mg g−1 for zinc and 23.7 mg g−1 for lead (using 0.1–0.002 g of WAS per 40 mL of mine water). Fast removal was primarily a result of precipitation, and subsequent capture by WAS, and ion exchange. These findings show that WAS has the potential to be scaled up and deployed at mine sites to remediate contaminated water.
Item Description: Erratum: Treatment of mine water for the fast removal of zinc and lead by wood ash amended biochar (Environmental Science: Advances (2022) 1 (506-516) DOI: 10.1039/d2va00085g)Environmental Science: Advances, Volume 1, Issue 5, Pages 862 - 863, 1 December 2022
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government's European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys. This work is part funded by the Welsh Government's European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys. The authors thank Richard Haine (Frog Environmental), Sion Brackenbury (TerrAffix Soil Solutions), Peter Lanfear (TerrAffix Soil Solutions) and Dr Ian Mabbett (Swansea University) for their continued support.