University of Oulu

Heini Postila, Elisangela Heiderscheidt, Tiina Leiviskä, Removal of metals from mine drainage waters by in situ mineral sorbent-based pilot filter systems, Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 236, 2019, Pages 631-638, ISSN 0301-4797,

Removal of metals from mine drainage waters by in situ mineral sorbent-based pilot filter systems

Saved in:
Author: Postila, Heini1; Heiderscheidt, Elisangela1; Leiviskä, Tiina2
Organizations: 1Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering, P.O. Box 4300, FIN-90014, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Chemical Process Engineering, P.O. Box 4300, FIN-90014, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2021-02-14


Discharge of metal-containing wastewater streams into the environment is an environmental concern because these pollutants do not degrade and tend to bioaccumulate. A number of laboratory-based investigations on the effectiveness of a wide range of filter materials for metal removal from diluted wastewater streams have been reported. However, only a few pilot or full-scale investigations have been conducted. Therefore, this study investigated the metal retention capabilities of mineral-based filter materials (commercially available mineral product (5–15 mm), recycled mineral material (2–4 mm) and slag by-product (2–4 and 4–16 mm)) when used in pilot-scale filter systems under continuous operation in a closed mining area in North Ostrobothnia, Finland, between June and October 2017. The influence of material particle size on system function and on metal retention efficiency was also evaluated. The results revealed that system performance was dependent on material composition and particle size (smaller particle size being more effective). The highest metal removal efficiencies (Zn, Ni, Cd, Cu and Pb) and largest amount of water treated (per volume of material applied) were achieved by an aluminium oxide-based recycled mineral material (2–4 mm). While smaller-grained materials performed better in terms of removal efficiency, the removal rates achieved by coarser-grained, commercially available mineral product (5–15 mm) were comparable to those achieved by small-grained slag (2–4 mm). Full-scale systems using the recycled mineral product (2–4 mm) would have an approximately two-fold longer material replacement time than systems using the slag (2–4 mm). Replacement time for the larger-grained materials tested could not be determined, due to problems with freezing. Overall, the recycled mineral material tested can be recommended for full-scale tests, especially when high zinc removal rates are required.

see all

Series: Journal of environmental management
ISSN: 0301-4797
ISSN-E: 1095-8630
ISSN-L: 0301-4797
Volume: 236
Pages: 631 - 638
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.01.115
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Funding: This work was funded by the European Regional Development Fund/Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for North Ostrobothnia as part of the HuJa project, “Enhancing the treatment of metal containing storm waters and wastewaters by using natural materials”. The other funding bodies and partners in project were Outokumpu Chrome Oy, Oulun Jätehuolto Oy, Pudasjärven vesiosuuskunta, Taivalkosken vesihuolto, Oulun Vesi, Pölkky Oy, Kuusamon energia-ja vesiosuuskunta, Naturpolis Oy, City of Kuusamo, Finnish Water Utilities Association, Maa-ja vesitekniikan tuki ry., Ranuan Vesihuolto Oy, Napapiirin Energia ja Vesi Oy, Vesikolmio Oy, Aquaminerals Finland Oy and University of Oulu.
Copyright information: © 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license