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Utilization of AMD sludges from the anthracite region of Pennsylvania for removal of phosphorus from wastewater

Journal of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation

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Abstract

Excess phosphorus (P) inputs from human sewage, animal feeding operations, and nonpoint source discharges to the environment have resulted in the eutrophication of sensitive receiving bodies of water such as the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay. Phosphorus loads in wastewater discharged from such sources can be decreased by conventional treatment with iron and aluminum salts but these chemical reagents are expensive or impractical for many applications. Acid mine drainage (AMD) sludges are an inexpensive source of iron and aluminum hydrous oxides that could offer an attractive alternative to chemical reagent dosing for the removal of P from local wastewater. Previous investigations have focused on AMD sludges generated in the bituminous coal region of western Pennsylvania, and confirmed that some of those sludges are good sorbents for P over a wide range of operating conditions. In this study, we sampled sludges produced by AMD treatment at six different sites in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania for potential use as P sequestration sorbents. Sludge samples were dried, characterized, and then tested for P removal from water. In addition, the concentrations of acid-extractable metals and other impurities were investigated. Test results revealed that sludges from four of the sites showed good P sorption and were unlikely to add contaminants to treated water. These results indicate that AMD sludges could be beneficially used to sequester P from the environment, while at the same time decreasing the expense of sludge disposal.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Utilization of AMD sludges from the anthracite region of Pennsylvania for removal of phosphorus from wastewater
Series title:
Journal of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Society of Mining and Reclamation
Contributing office(s):
Leetown Science Center, Pennsylvania Water Science Center
Description:
16 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation
First page:
1085
Last page:
1100
Country:
United States
State:
Pennsylvania
County:
Schuylkill