Residues from Biomass Thermal Treatment in Energy-from-Waste Facilities for Acid Mine Drainage Remediation
Bogush, Anna (1); Campos, Luiza (2); Mašek, Ondrej (3); Khayrulina, Elena (4); Saldi, Giuseppe (1); Zhang, Tongsheng (5); Jones, Adrian (1)
1: Department of Earth Sciences, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK; 2: Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering (CEGE), University College London (UCL), Chadwick Building, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT London, UK; 3: UK Biochar Rese
Acid mine drainage (AMD) is the largest environmental problem facing the world mining and processing industry (GARD/INAP; Lottermoser, 2007; Nordstrom, 2011; Hudson-Edwards et al., 2011). In the UK, some of the largest discharges of metals into rivers and sea come from abandoned lead, copper and tin mines (EA, 2008). For example, metal mines in the ore fields of Wales, the South West and northern England continue to cause pollution despite being closed for over many years. The thermal treatment (e.g., combustion and pyrolysis) of biomass waste in Energy-from-Waste (EfW) plants is rising continuously because of limited availability of fossil fuels and evidence of global warming caused by CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. However, residues (wastes/by-products) like bottom ash, fly ash, air pollution control residue, and biochar are generated in thermal treatment of biomass waste in EfW facilities and their management is an escalating issue in many countries due to increasing numbers of EfW plants. However, to develop innovative solutions for reuse or recycle of such residues are essential to avoid landfill disposal. A main goal of this work is to investigate holistically potential utilisation of wastes/by-products from biomass thermal treatment plants for acid mine drainage remediation as sustainable industrial symbiosis solution. Within this scope, biomass ashes and biochars from the different fuel types of the UK EfW plants were used for remediation of the mine waters from the UK, Russian and Rumanian mining industry. All investigated biomass ashes showed potential for the mine water remediation. However, biomass ashes from straw, poultry litter, and meat and bone meal as well as biochar from miscanthus straw, soft wood, and wheat straw can be considered as the most effective, environmentally friendly and low-cost potential material for acid mine water remediation both for potential pollutants immobilisation and pH adjustment. This research highlights industrial symbiosis that is becoming very important in sustainable development.
Environmental Agency (EA) (2008) Science project SC030136-41, UK; GARD/INAP, http://www.gardguide.com/index. php?title=Main_Page; Hudson-Edwards K., Jamieson H., Lottermoser B. Elements, 2011, 7:375–380; Lottermoser B. Mine Wastes: Characterization, Treatment and Environmental Impacts. 2nd ed., 2007, Springer, Berlin; Nordstrom D. Elements, 2011, 7:393–398.