Treatment of acid mine drainage by forward osmosis: Heavy metal rejection and reverse flux of draw solution constituents

Bárbara Vital, Jan Bartacek, J. C. Ortega-Bravo, DAVID ALEJANDRO JEISON NUÑEZ

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

Acid mine drainage (AMD) is one of the most relevant potential environmental liabilities of mining activities. They are formed when the excavated ore is exposed to rain and other natural erosion factors. This research evaluated the application of forward osmosis (FO) for the treatment of AMD. Rejection of several metals was determined, using a thin-film composite FO membrane, and two types of draw solutions: NaCl and NH 4 HCO 3 . When using NaCl as draw solution, results showed high levels of rejection, exceeding 97%. Individual rejections were Mg: 98.9%, Al: 99.8%, Si: 97.1%, Ca: 99.3%, Mn: 99.6%, Fe: 100%, Co: 99.4%, Cu: 98.9%, Zn: 99.5%. When using NH 4 HCO 3 as draw solute, precipitates were observed over membrane surface, preventing normal operation. Results show that transport of ions from draw solution (Ammonia and bicarbonate) is the cause of such phenomenon. FO has the potential to become an alternative for the treatment of AMD, based on the high levels of rejection for metals provided by FO membranes. However, attention must be paid to the reverse flux of ions from the draw solution to the feed, especially when they can react with feed solutes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume332
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Acid mine drainage
  • Forward osmosis
  • Heavy metals rejection

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Treatment of acid mine drainage by forward osmosis: Heavy metal rejection and reverse flux of draw solution constituents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this