Date of Award

2-16-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research

First Advisor

Weisener, Christopher

Second Advisor

Heath, Daniel

Keywords

Acid Mine Drainage, Bioreactor, Bioremediation, Coal, Metagenoimcs, Metal Removal

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Acid mine drainage (AMD) impacted waters are a worldwide concern for the mining industry; both active and passive technologies are employed for their treatment. System design and biogeochemical investigations are presented here for a novel, fully operational, mussel shell bioreactor (MSB) used to treat low pH effluents elevated in Al, Fe, Ni, and Zn. This bioreactor is located within the Whirlwind catchment of the Stockton Coal Mine, on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. The bioreactor raised the effluent pH from 3.4 to 8.3 while removing ~99% of the dissolved Al, and Fe and >90% Ni, Tl, and Zn. To understand the performance and functionality of the bioreactor a systematic approach was undertaken to investigate its bio-physico-chemical dynamics. This work describes a comprehensive investigation of the chemistry, microbiology, and functionality of this novel passive treatment approach and sheds light on performance for global technology transfer

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