Acid Mine Drainage: Working to Improve Passive Remediation Systems
Our first Solving for X project is a collaboration with Dr. Andrew Swindle, assistant professor in the Geology Department. Dr. Swindle is a contaminant hydrogeologist with extensive experience in the use of electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction to investigate colloidal and nano-scale materials. The research highlighted here is connected to the remediation of Acid Mining Drainage (AMD). AMD is the acidic, metal-laden solution produced by the oxidation of sulfide minerals exposed from mining activities. It is a significant environmental problem in most countries that have an extensive history of mining, and is estimated to have adversely impacted 10,000’s of km of streams in the United States alone. Because of the large number of impacted sites there is considerable drive to develop low-cost remediation options. One option is the use of limestone trenches to neutralize AMD; however, when AMD is neutralized iron (hydr)oxide minerals can precipitate coating the remaining limestone and lowering the effectiveness of the trench. This research investigates using a mix of sandstone and limestone to ameliorate limestone armoring to increase the effectiveness of this remediation option.
Solving for X is a series of exhibitions organized by the Ulrich Museum of Art in collaboration with university scholars across campus. The intent of the Museum is to work with WSU scholars in all disciplines who are problem solving for sustainability to create visualizations of their research. The objective is to explore the potential for the Museum, as a WSU public access point for the community, to make accessible the fascinating and essential research taking place on campus. We are thrilled by the opportunity to work with researchers across campus and excited about the challenges we will face together in discovering how to create visual pathways to understanding.
Dates: January 24 - March 31, 2019
Location: Grafly Gallery