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Bioremediation of acid mine drainage: an introduction to the Wheal Jane wetlands project

Whitehead, P. and Prior, H. (2005) Bioremediation of acid mine drainage: an introduction to the Wheal Jane wetlands project. Science of the Total Environment, 338 (1-2). pp. 15-21. ISSN 0048-9697

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2004.09.016


Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a widespread environmental problem associated with both working and abandoned mining operations. As part of an overall strategy to determine a long-term treatment option for AMD, a pilot passive treatment plant was constructed in 1994 at Wheat Jane Mine in Cornwall, UK. The plant consists of three separate systems; each containing aerobic reed beds, anaerobic cell and rock filters, and represents the largest European experimental facility of its kind. The systems only differ by the type of pre-treatment utilised to increase the pH of the influent minewater (pH<4): lime-dosed (LD), anoxic limestone drain (ALD) and lime free (LF), which receives no form of pre-treatment. The Wheal Jane pilot plant offered a unique facility and a major research project was established to evaluate the pilot plant and study in detail the biological mechanisms and the geochemical and physical processes that control passive treatment systems. The project has led to data, knowledge, models and design criteria for the future design, planning and sustainable management of passive treatment systems. A multidisciplinary team of scientists and managers from the U.K. universities, the Environment Agency and the Mining Industry has been put together to obtain the maximum advantage from the excellent facilities facility at Wheal Jane. (C) 2004 Elseaier B.V All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:4234
Uncontrolled Keywords:acid mine drainage; bioremediation; metals; water quality; wetlands; modelling; Wheal Jane
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