Application of innovative remediation processes to mining effluents contaminated by heavy metals

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Ubaldini S.
Luptakova A.
Fornari P.
Yoplac E.
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EDP Sciences
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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.
This work was supported by Italian National Council Researches by Joint Project n.1 of the CNR/SAV Agreement 2010/2012 and under project CNR RSTL n.0042.0005; by Joint Project n. 2 of the CNR/CONCYTEC (Perù), Agreement 2009/2011 Slovak Research and Development Agency under the contract n. SRDA-0252-10; the Scientific Grant Agency No. 2/0166/11 and by the Operational Programme Research and Development through the project: Centre of Excellence for Integrated Research of the Earth's Geosphere (ITMS: 26220120064), which is co-financed through the European Regional Development Fund
Palabras clave
heavy metals, Acid Mine, Drainage