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Biological Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage by Sequencing Batch Reactors (SBR)



Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) was sampled from the Shoor River of Sarcheshmeh Copper Mine Located in Southern Iran and analyzed for metals such as Fe, Cu and Mn and anions such as sulfate. A mixed culture of micro-organisms was obtained from the Qeytarieh wastewater treatment plant in Tehran for use in bio-treatment of the AMD. Then, Sequencing Batch Reactors (SBRs) were used in an attempt to remove the high concentrations of Fe, Cu, Mn and sulfate in the AMD. The removal of these metals and anions was examined at several pH levels (4.5-5, 6.5-7, 7-7.5, 7.5-8) and inflow rates of AMD. The optimum pH for the highest removal was in the 7.5-8 range. The optimum flow rate was 30 ml/min. Percentage of bio-removal of heavy metals (Mn, Cu and Fe) and sulfate was observed to be 88.28%, 85.14%, 100% and 89.37%, respectively. The results suggest that the mechanism of removal was bio-sorption of metals by microorganisms.


Biological treatment, Acid Mine Drainage (AMD), Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR), Bio-sorption

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