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Application of Flowback Water and GOPS on the Prevention of Acid Mine Drainage in the Mather Mine

Deng, Huiqi (2013) Application of Flowback Water and GOPS on the Prevention of Acid Mine Drainage in the Mather Mine. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Acid mine drainage (AMD) is an environmental pollutant that degrades water bodies and harms aquatic life. In the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern U.S., over 7,500 miles of streams are impacted by AMD. Current methods of active treating AMD such as neutralization with limestone are labor-intensive and costly. Passive treatments with lower maintenance and management costs are the more sustainable alternatives for AMD management. The research reported herein explores the possibility of applying flowback water from natural gas drilling operations and the chelating agent 3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GOPS) as additive to passively treat AMD. The hypothesis is that chemicals present in the flowback water will form insoluble salts with those in the mine residue and precipitate on the mine rock to passivate the surface.. Additionally, GOPS will improve upon the passivation process by complexing with metal ions in the precipitate to form a multilayer hydrophobic coating.
In order to develop a protocol for measuring the optimal dosage of flowback water and GOPS for AMD prevention, several preliminary batch tests were conducted. These tests evaluated the reaction time and volumes of flowback water and GOPS appropriate for further column testing, as measured by concentrations of Fe, Ba, and SO42-. From batch studies, it is observed that when 55 mL of flowback water was added to 500 mg of mine residue, the contaminants of major concern, Fe and SO42- reached their lowest levels. Meanwhile, a dosage of 0.0001 M GOPS is optimum to improve the microencapsulation. Results from the test column were compared to an identical control column, which was treated with deionized water. The results suggest that, for the experiment duration of one month, flowback water and GOPS have done an effective job in curbing the release of Fe and SO42- from mine residue. After 15 days of treatment, the concentration of Fe was 0.6 ppm, reduced by 96% relative to the control, and the concentration of SO42- was 90 ppm, reduced by 83%. However, trace metals including Mn were not reduced to within the requirements set by the Environment Protection Agency. As a result, more studies are needed to improve the performance of this technique.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCasson, Leonardcasson@pitt.eduCASSON
Committee MemberAnthony, Iannacchioneati2@pitt.eduATI2
Committee MemberJohn, Brighambrigham@pitt.eduBRIGHAM
Date: 24 September 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 July 2013
Approval Date: 24 September 2013
Submission Date: 23 July 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 98
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: acid mine drainage, flowback water, microencapsulation
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2013 19:29
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:14


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