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Acid Mine Drainage - Essay Example

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This paper exclusively looks into the process of Acid Mine Drainage, AMD; it defines the ADM and gives what necessitate the process as well as the factors that accelerate the process. …
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Acid Mine Drainage
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Download file to see previous pages In such it discusses all the possible avenues with which AMD can emerge and gives in depth analysis with regard to the chemical composition, reaction and eventual production of the AMD. This paper also strives to give in summary different sources of the AMD and the appropriate remedies that can be put into practice to quench the lethal problems associated with AMD. In the same breadth, it discusses the health related problems associated with AMD as well as those of ecological. This paper can be of meaningful help to those who work in the mines and risk contracting the problems linked with the site. When the precautionary measures that are discussed in this paper are stringently followed by the concerned individuals with the appropriate technology and man power, there is no doubt the problem of the AMD will be a thing of the past.
2.0 Introduction
Acid mines drainage (AMD) is one of the major environmental threats that comes as a result of extraction of minerals for economic purposes. If these mines are not properly managed, then the exercise of extraction results into a serious environmental menace. Essentially acid mines drainage is a peculiar kind of a wastewater that that results from the continuous processes of weathering as well as leaching of coal and metalliferrous compounds that contain sulphur as an element in them. The various activities of mining for example, strip and underground mining exposes the sulfide (pyrite) and other metallic compounds that incorporate sulphur to a level of oxidation given the availability of oxygen and water. The oxidation process will increase the acidity level i.e. low P.H value, as the value of the P.H decreases, the oxidation process of the metals equally increases increases and this significantly reduces the water quality and culminate into water pollution (Drever 133). The formation of the acid mines drainage process can also be facilitated by through biological processes. The microorganism thiobaccillus ferroxidants is an acid tolerant microbe and is known to be associated with acid mines drainage sites as it enhances the oxidation of the compounds that contain sulphur compounds (Drever 147). . The resultant water in the acid mines drainages are very hazardous to health, in that the acidity and the components of water from the mines contain lethal chemicals. As stated above, without the buffering processes of the process, the acidity level will exponentially increase accelerating weathering process and subsequent development and continuation of the acid mines drainages (Drever 151). 3.0 Origin of Acid Mine Drainage Several factors can bring about development of the acid mines drainages, coming into contact between the surface water (oxygenated) with the pyritic ores is one of the ways that largely contribute to the formation of the acid mines drainage. This interaction takes place in three different ways; when the mining processes change the direction of flow of the water pattern to areas endowed with rocks that have been in constant touch with the ground water that is anoxically stagnant (Berner and Berner 98). The other possibility is when the spoils form the pyritic mining is disposed in an area of percolating oxygenated water, and when the pyritic minerals waste materials are directly discharged into the aquatic environment. 4.0 Results The formation of the acid mines drainages results into several environmental degradative processes that are vey detrimental to the survival biological life, in such, measures are always put into place as precautionary obligation to ensure ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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