ENHANCED AL AND ZN REMOVAL FROM COAL-MINE DRAINAGE DURING RAPID OXIDATION AND PRECIPITATION OF FE OXIDES AT NEAR-NEUTRAL PH
Kinetic modeling with PHREEQC simulated the effects of aeration on pH, CO2, Fe, Zn, and Al concentrations, and the importance of adsorption and coprecipitation with HFO. Zn adsorption was enhanced by aeration because of increased pH and HFO formation, and decreased Zn-carbonate complexation. Changes in Al concentration were inconsistent with solubility control by kaolinite, Al hydroxides, Al hydroxysulfates, or Al-containing HFO; therefore, Al adsorption to HFO was hypothesized. During the Aer 3 experiment, dissolved Al was completely removed within 1 hr, but increased to approximately 20% of the initial concentration after 2.5 hr when pH exceeded 7.5. The dissolved Al concentrations in the Aer 3 experiment can be explained by adsorption on HFO at pH <7.5 and desorption at higher pH where Al(OH)4- is the predominant dissolved species. The lack of pH increase in the H2O2 treatment and nearly instantaneous oxidation of dissolved FeII promoted rapid adsorption of Al; however, the H2O2 treatment promoted only limited Zn removal. Thus, chemical oxidation without pH adjustment may be most effective for treating high Fe and moderate Al concentrations in CMD; whereas, aeration or chemical oxidation with pH adjustment to ~7.5 could be effective for treating high Fe and moderate Zn concentrations in CMD.