Treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD), whether with lime, limestone, caustic or simple aeration, nearly always results in generation of a metal hydroxide sludge. Disposal of the sludge often constitutes a significant fraction of the operating cost for the AMD treatment plant. Research at the USGS - Leetown Science Center has shown that AMD sludge, with its high content of aluminum and iron oxides, has a high affinity of phosphorus (P). Anthropogenic sources of P are associated with eutrophication and degradation of aquatic environments, resulting in anoxic dead zones in certain sensitive waterways. In this paper, we describe a method of converting the AMD sludge from a liability into an asset - Ferroxysorb P removal media - which can be used to remove excess P from wastewater. Three different Ferroxysorb media samples were produced from differing AMD sources and tested for P removal. Adsorption isotherms confirmed that the media had a high sorption capacity for P, as high as 19,000 mg/kg. The technology was demonstrated at an active fish hatchery, where the media remained in service for over three months without stripping or regeneration. Over that period of time, the calculated P removal was 50%, even at a very low influent P concentration of 60 parts per billion. In summary, use of the AMD-derived Ferroxysorb sorption media will reduce AMD treatment costs while at the same time helping to resolve the pressing environmental issue of eutrophication and degradation of sensitive waterways.
|Title||Removal of phosphorus from wastewater using ferroxysorb sorption media produced from amd sludge|
|Authors||P.L. Sibrell, T.W. Tucker, T. Kehler, J.W. Fletcher|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Publication Subtype||Conference Paper|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|