TWO-STAGE TREATMENT OF HIGH ARSENIC SYNTHETIC MINE WATER AT COLD TEMPERATURE
Arsenic is a highly toxic element and a known human carcinogen. It is often a contaminant in mine water discharges, particularly from gold mining and roasting operations, and has been found at concentrations as high as 4 g/L. Increasingly stringent controls on the concentration of arsenic allowed to be discharged into the environment cannot always be met by current treatment processes and thus enhanced technologies are required to achieve low treated effluent concentrations at reasonable costs. A novel two-step physicochemical treatment process was developed and tested at the bench-scale using synthetic mine water solutions (SMWs) in order to reduce arsenic concentrations in treated effluent to exceed current discharge regulations. The process includes chemical coagulation with ferric sulphate and ballasted flocculation for enhanced solid-liquid separation. The SMW contained 59 ± 2 mg/L arsenic with a slightly alkaline pH. The effect of arsenic speciation on the process was tested by using either arsenite, As(III), or arsenate, As(V), in the SMW solutions. Tests were performed at cold temperature (3 ± 1 °C) to ensure the process’ efficacy year-round in northern climates.
Arsenic; pH; Treatment; Waters; Water; Concentration; Processes; Process; test; Tests;