Winner Global Energy & Environmental Services, LLC

Environmental Services

Acid Mine DrainageAcid Mine Drainage

The oxidation of sulfide minerals associated with mining have long plagued both mining companies and environmental remediation activities.  The formation of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) has resulted in thousands of polluted stream miles and millions of dollars in lost revenue.

Clean water is contaminated as it permeates through mine sites leaching metals from surrounding strata. This contaminated water leaves the mines and, if left untreated, degrades the surrounding ecosystems. 

AMD treatments are costly, are projected to be required for many decades. Current AMD treatment technology produces a voluminous low-quality, contaminated gypsum sludge that must be properly stored and managed.  Dealing with this waste costs money and can have a negative effect on the visual landscape, which otherwise would be attractive for tourism and other uses.

In order to prevent formation of sludge and reduce treatment cost, WGEES is undertaking research projects that may provide substantial advantages to current acceptable technologies.   Both the In-situ Sulfate Reducing Bacteria program and the development of the AMD Value Extraction Process are designed to provide exceptional treatment and significant cost savings in comparison to conventional AMD treatments.

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In-situ Sulfate Reducing Bacteria

The goal of this project is to evaluate and demonstrate that enhanced bioremediation utilizing the activities of native sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) can effectively and cost efficiently impact the chemistry of the mine pool waters.

The proposed design would enhance SRB activity in contaminated mine pool waters to increase pH and alkalinity and decrease metals concentrations in order to make waters usable for industrial applications

WGEES has partnered with BioRemedial Technologies, Incorporated to conduct a project entitled In-situ Treatment of Abandoned Mine Drainage; Utilizing Indigenous Bacteria in a Reduced Environment.  This work is being conducted with funds provided by Pennsylvania Department of Protection Bureau of Abandoned Mines and administrated through the Western Pennsylvania Coalition of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (WPCAMR). 

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AMD Value Extraction Process

The AMD Value Extraction Process (AMD VEP) is a water purification system to treat AMD water at abandoned and active mine sites.  This process will be designed to (1) reduce AMD treatment costs at abandoned and active mines, and (2) build a sustainable commodity chemical production capability.  WGEES is working with The Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus Ohio, (Battelle), and The  Appalachian Research & Technology Institute Inc., a PA 501c (3) non-profit organization to develop and implement this project.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection serves as an active partner in the project and has granted funding assistance to allow this program to move from the bench top and into the field during 2007.

The process is based on technology developed by Battelle and earned them a R&D-100 award and has been adapted to harvest metals and sulfates from AMD waters.

Results from our preliminary testing have been very encouraging. The bench top system has proven the validity of the concept and continues to make significant scientific advancements.

Benefits of the AMD Value Extraction Process include:

  • 1. Generates products – not wastes
    • Metals recovered
    • Sulfates recovered
    • High quality water produced
  • 2. Avoids sludge waste associated with conventional treatments
  • 3. Achieves desired results
    • Removes iron and other metal cations
    • Takes out sulfate
    • Produces high-quality water
  • 4. Cost effective
    • Partial cost offset from product sales
    • Positive impact on the environment
      • Improves watershed quality
      • Can generate new feedstock for municipal water plants
      • May attract local economic development
    • Fast kinetics enable small equipment footprint
    • Low process costs
      • Extractant recycled
      • High automation/low labor
      • Inexpensive consumables

The more contaminated the feed water is the more effective the AMD VEP will be for your situation.

In addition, the AMD VEP process may be the only answer for cost effective sulfate removal, opening the doors to reuse mine pool water where other technologies have been unable to support reuse activities.

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For more information please contact our office.