What is Acid Mine Drainage (AMD)?

Acid Mine Drainage

AMD is the drainage of water from areas that have been mined for coal or other mineral ores. The water has a low pH, because of its contact with sulfur-bearing material and is harmful to aquatic organisms. AMD is better explained as polluted water that normally contains high levels of iron, aluminium and acid. Drainage acidity arises from oxidation of pyrite, the crystalline form of iron sulfide. The contaminated water is often reddish-brown in colour, indicating high levels of oxidized iron. Mining disturbs pyrite weathers and react with oxygen and water in the environment. (Hadley, Snow 1974)

AMD is characterized by acidic metalliferous conditions in water which is responsible for physical, chemical and biological degradation of stream habit.

What impact does AMD have on the environment?

  • Sterilize the ground
  • Toxify the soil
  • AMD contain Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals
  • Destruct underground water structures
  • Destruct above ground concrete structures
  • Toxify underground water (It is then unfit for animal / human consumption)
  • Toxify plants during irrigation

What does SupaZorb suggest?

AMD from mines are / were treated by percipitation of heavy metals with lime and sulphides followed by iron exchange.

Another method is the chemical treatment with expensive caustic soda and lime where the residues still accumulate in the cleaned water. The environmental damage to the soil is caused by the caustic soda and lime, which has irreversible negative effects. It will basically sterilise the oil in a very short period.

We provide a non-chemical treatment method that is approximately 70% cheaper than the treatment with caustic soda and lime. It also has a long term benefit of not showing any environmental damages after treatment.