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A Case Study on the Aerobic and Anaerobic Removal of Manganese by Wetland Processes

By
L.A. Clayton
L.A. Clayton
McCulley, Frick, and Gilman, 4900 Pearl East Circle, Suite 300W, Boulder, CO 80301
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J.L. Bolis
J.L. Bolis
McCulley, Frick, and Gilman, 4900 Pearl East Circle, Suite 300W, Boulder, CO 80301
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T.R. Wildeman
T.R. Wildeman
Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401
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D.M. Updegraff
D.M. Updegraff
Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401
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Published:
January 01, 1997

Abstract

Constructed wetlands have been utilized to passively remove metals and raise the pH of acid mine drainage. Manganese is typically the most difficult metal to remove from solution due to the high pH (>8) required to form insoluble manganese precipitates. A study of the removal of manganese by wetland processes was conducted using two guidelines. A microbial ecosystem approach was used to select and test reasonable candidates for passive treatment. Also, a staged design approach consisting of laboratory and bench-scale studies was conducted to examine manganese removal by aerobic versus anaerobic constructed wetland processes. Aerobic laboratory experiments found that common green algae (pond scum) removed large concentrations of manganese from solution and raised the pH through photosynthesis. Aerobic bench-scale reservoirs were constructed containing green algae (predominantly Cladophora) and mine drainage that had passed through an anaerobic constructed wetland, but still contained 32 mg/1 Mn. Static and flow tests were conducted so that manganese was consistently removed to NPDES standards (2 mg/l). Manganese (oxide) coatings on the Cladophora appear to be an important removal mechanism. Four anaerobic bench-scale reactors were constructed, however, only the reactors containing a composted manure substrate achieved manganese removal to the NPDES standard for a significant portion of the experiment. In conclusion, manganese removal from severe acid mine drainage through the use of constructed wetlands requires a two-stage process. An aerobic algal pond appears to be a promising treatment method.

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The Environmental Geochemistry of Mineral Deposits: Part A: Processes, Techniques, and Health Issues Part B: Case Studies and Research Topics

G.S. Plumlee
G.S. Plumlee
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M.J. Logsdon
M.J. Logsdon
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L.F. Filipek
L.F. Filipek
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
6
ISBN electronic:
9781629490137
Publication date:
January 01, 1997

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