Biogeochemical stability of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Alluvial Sediment from an Active Coal Mine

Water contamination from mining activities is a global problem, damaging many freshwater ecosystems. This water, which can seep into the natural environment is high in heavy metals and can be very acidic. Options for treating this water can be very expensive or impractical for many of these contaminated sites, which can include abandoned mines. A new, inexpensive way of treating this water is being studied by CRL Energy in New Zealand, using mussel shells, a waste product itself from the food industry. The mussel shells provide a way to neutralize the acidic water and an opportunity for bacteria to grow that can use the metals in the water as a source of energy. Mussel shells work well at treating the water; however a build-up of sediment has decreased the effectiveness and the lifespan of the system.

Sara Butler
Superviseur universitaire: 
Christopher Weisener
Project Year: 
Partner University: 
CRL Energy Ltd.