SA prof gets acid mine water patent

2013-09-13 14:30
Colorado mining authorities have dug through a mountainside and reopened the dark granite shaft of an abandoned mine that turned deadly. (Aaron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post, AP, file)

Colorado mining authorities have dug through a mountainside and reopened the dark granite shaft of an abandoned mine that turned deadly. (Aaron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post, AP, file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Rand Water chair in water utilisation Professor Jannie Maree has received a US patent for an acid mine water treatment process.

The magnesium-barium-hydroxide (MBO) process, which removes metals and sulphate from mine water, offered SA a technically sound and cost-effective solution for the acid mine water problem, Maree said in a statement.

"In recent years, numerous mines have closed down or are in the process of being decommissioned.

"It was found that the patented process can solve the acid mine water problem and generate income at the same time," he said.

The problem could be solved via economic principles instead of through government intervention by means of policies and legislated control measures.

Maree said removing metals and sulphate with the MBO process could produce water that contained levels low enough to be acceptable as drinking water. This was provided the levels of sodium and chloride in the treated water was low.

Benefits

He said the patented process was used with great success at laboratory level.

Water from coal and gold mines was used. This was described in the master's dissertation of a Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) postgraduate student Hangwi Bologo.

"In this process magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2) is used for the neutralisation and removal of metals while barium hydroxide (Ba(OH)2) is used for the removal of sulphate in the water, as well as magnesium ion (Mg2+) that was added as magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2)," he said.

The MBO process also made provision for the use of ammonium hydroxide for neutralisation and metal removal in the place of magnesium hydroxide. This was described in the master's dissertation of another postgraduate student, Mavis Maila.

Maree said there were a number of benefits of the MBO process.

Less sludge was produced when magnesium hydroxide was used for neutralisation, instead of calcium hydroxide.

This was because of the high solubility of magnesium sulphate compared to calcium sulphate, he said.

Another benefit was that the mixed product of barium sulphate and magnesium hydroxide could be separated with carbon dioxide.

There was also lower alkali cost, since both the cation barium (Ba2+) and the cation hydroxide (OH-) were utilised.

The Ba2+ was used for the removal of sulphate (SO42-) and OH- for the removal of the Mg2+.

Maree said the patented process would be ready for full-scale implementation as soon as the thermal studies on the processing of BaSO4 to Ba(OH)2 had been completed by postgraduate students.0
- SAPA
Read more on:    acid mine drainage  |  environment
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.