Limestone has potential for reducing reagent costs and sludge volume associated with treatment of acid mine drainage, but its use is restricted by slow dissolution rates and the deposition of Fe, Al and Mn-based hydrolysis products on reactive surfaces. We evaluated a pulsed limestone bed (PLB) reactor (15 L/min capacity) that uses a CO2 pretreatment step to accelerate dissolution and hydraulic shearing forces provided by intermittent fluidization to abrade and carry away surface scales. We established the effects of hydraulic residence time (HRT, 5.1-15.9 min), temperature (T, 12-22 ??C) and CO2 tension (PCO2, 34.5-206.8 kPa) on effluent quality when inlet acidity (Acy) was fixed at 440 mg/L (pH=2.48) with H2SO4. The PLB reactor neutralized all H+ acidity (N=80) while concurrently providing unusually high levels of effluent alkalinity (247-1028 mg/L as CaCO3) that allow for side-stream treatment with blending. Alkalinity (Alk) yields rose with increases in PCO2, HRT and settled bed height (BH, cm) and decreased with T following the relationship (R2=0.926; p<0.001): (Alk)non-filtered=-548.726+33.571??(PCO2)0.5+33.671??(HRT)+7.734??(BH)-5.197??(T). Numerical modeling showed CO2 feed requirements for a target Alk yield decrease with increases in HRT, T and the efficiency of off-gas (CO2) recycling. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Effect of temperature, hydraulic residence time and elevated PCO2 on acid neutralization within a pulsed limestone bed reactor