Advances in seeded ambient temperature ferrite formation for treatment of acid mine drainage

B. E. Morgan*, O. Lahav, R. E. Loewenthal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Advances in the seeded ambient temperature ferrite process for treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD) are described. Magnetite formation requires that the oxidation rate of ferrous to ferric does not exceed the rate at which ferrous iron is incorporated into the crystal structure (dehydroxylation- crystallization). If the oxidation rate is too high, then ferric-only oxides form, an effect exacerbated by the presence of calcium. NaOH was used to raise the pH of simulated AMD, which also contained calcium so as to simulate the use of lime (i.e., the dissolved Ca/Fe2+ concentration was maintained at 1:1 by the coaddition of CaClJapanese source2 because this is the Ca/Fe ratio that occurs when pH is elevated by the dissolution of lime), Raising the pH to 10.5 causes Fe2+ to precipitate as "ferrous intermediate" (FI), which is then partially oxidized to magnetite (Fe2+-Fe 3+2O4). The inhibitory effect of calcium is overcome by a combination of magnetite seed particles, high FI concentrations, and aging, High FI concentrations are easily obtained, even from AMD low in Fe2+, by a contact stabilization reactor-settler sequence. Results for simultaneous removal of cobalt, a metal found in significant concentrations in South African AMD, are also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7678-7683
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


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