Modelling removal mechanisms of Pb, Cu, Zn and Cd in acidic groundwater during the neutralization by ambient surface and ground waters

Environmental Science & Technology
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Abstract

Removal of Pb, Cu, Zn, and Cd during neutralization of acid rock drainage is examined using model simulations of field conditions and laboratory experiments involving mixing of natural drainage and surface waters or groundwaters. The simulations consider sorption onto hydrous Fe and Al oxides and particulate organic carbon, mineral precipitation, and organic and inorganic solution complexation of metals for two physical systems where newly formed oxides and particulate organic matter are either transported or retained along the chemical pathway. The calculations indicate that metal removal is a strong function of the physical system. Relative to direct discharge of ARD into streams, lower metal removals are observed where ARD enters streamwaters during the latter stages of neutralization by ambient groundwater after most of the Fe has precipitated and been retained in the soils. The mixing experiments, which represent the field simulations, also demonstrated the importance of dissolved metal to particle Fe ratios in controlling dissolved metal removal along the chemical pathway. Finally, model calculations indicate that hydrous Fe oxides and particulate organic carbon are more important than hydrous Al oxides in removing metals and that both inorganic and organic complexation must be considered when modeling metal removal from aquatic systems that are impacted by sulfide oxidation.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Modelling removal mechanisms of Pb, Cu, Zn and Cd in acidic groundwater during the neutralization by ambient surface and ground waters
Series title Environmental Science & Technology
DOI 10.1021/es9900454
Volume 33
Issue 21
Year Published 1999
Language English
Publisher ACS Publications
Contributing office(s) Colorado Water Science Center, Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center, Washington Water Science Center
Description 7 p.
First page 3850
Last page 3856
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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