BioTreatMIW - Improved biological treatment of acid mine drainage and nitrogen impacted waters from mining industries

BioTreatMIW - Improved biological treatment of acid mine drainage and nitrogen impacted waters from mining industries

The overarching objective is improved treatment of mine effluent, thereby mitigating its impact on ecosystems of recipient waters and surrounding environments. This will be achieved through a multidisciplinary approach that integrates microbiology, analytical chemistry and environmental engineering for the application and development of methods for functional analysis of biogeochemical reactors treating acid mine drainage (AMD) and nitrogen impacted waters from mining industries.

For AMD-treatment, microbially driven sulfate reducing bioreactors are suitable and nitrate removal from mine discharge may be achieved using denitrifying microbial biofilms. The processes are promising but require improved understanding and monitoring tools to allow for optimization, prediction, performance sustainability and evaluation of greenhouse gas emissions (CH4 and N2O respectively).

Optimization of these processes will be achieved using molecular microbiological- and advanced biogeochemical analyses. Spatial distribution and dynamics of microbial functional genes for the processes of importance will be assessed in full- and lab-scale. Together with analysis of biogeochemical zonation and monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions, this will provide a diagnostic tool for evaluation and prediction of treatment performance. Lab columns for manipulation of influent and substrate concentrations will allow for performance optimization.

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