ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0236.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Other Keywords: trace metals; mine drainage remediation; zinc; red media; biochar
Online: 11 July 2020 (09:36:40 CEST)
The river Teign in Devon has come under scrutiny for failing to meet Environmental Quality Standards for ecotoxic metals due to past mining operations. A disused mine known as Bridford Barytes mine, has been found to contribute a significant source of Zn, Cd and Pb to the river. Recently, studies have been focused on the remediation of such mine sites using low-cost treatment methods to help reduce metal loads to the river downstream. Red mud is a waste product from the aluminium industry, the utilization of this resource has proven an attractive low-cost treatment method for adsorbing toxic metals. Adsorption kinetics and capacity experiments reveal metal removal efficiencies of up to 70% within the first 2 hours when red mud is applied in pelletized form. Biochar is another effective adsorbent with the potential to remove >90% Zn using agricultural feedstock. Compliance of the Teign has been investigated by analysing dissolved metal concentrations and bioavailable fractions of Zn to assess if levels are of environmental concern. By applying a Real-World Application Model, this study reveals that compressed pellets and agricultural biochar offer an effective, low-cost option to reducing metal concentrations and thus improving the quality of the river Teign.