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Title: Inorganic carbon dynamics and CO 2 flux associated with coal-mine drainage sites in Blythedale PA and Lambert WV, USA

Abstract

Drainage from coal mines, where carbonate dissolution is driven by sulfuric acid, can result in a net transfer of geologically-bound carbon to the atmosphere. The flux and downstream evolution of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) is presented for two coal mine sites that discharge high concentrations of DIC (3.7–4.5 mM C) producing a total flux of DIC from the mine from 13 to 249 kg-C/year (18–364 metric tons of CO 2/year). More than 65 % of the total DIC is lost via CO 2 evasion with the remaining DIC is exported downstream as dissolved species. The fate of the DIC depends upon the pH of the water which is controlled by evasion of CO 2, the concentration of pre-existing alkalinity, carbonate precipitation and dissolution, and metal hydrolysis reactions. The CO 2 concentrations and fluxes from the study sites are comparable to those estimated from literature data for other coal mine sites in the Appalachian region. The total flux estimated from a dataset of 140 coal mines was comparable in magnitude to the CO 2 emissions from a small coal-fired power plant. The extent of CO 2 degassing from mine waters is poorly constrained because (1) flux estimates can be biased lowmore » when acid waters are excluded in alkalinity-based estimates; (2) flux estimates can be biased high if non-carbonate alkalinity is present in the mine waters; and (3) mine waters react rapidly following discharge hampering the measurement process. Lastly, the study sites presented illustrate the impact of coal mining as an anthropogenic influence on carbon cycling; however, more data are necessary to fully estimate the importance of this impact on regional scales« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV (United States). Dept. of Geology and Geography
  2. National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Morgantown, WV (United States). AECOM
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, Morgantown, WV, and Albany, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1480830
Grant/Contract Number:  
FE0004000
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Earth Sciences
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 75; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1866-6280
Publisher:
Springer-Verlag
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC); Carbon dioxide (CO2); CO2 evasion, carbonate geochemistry, coal mine drainage

Citation Formats

Vesper, Dorothy J., Moore, Johnathan E., and Adams, James P. Inorganic carbon dynamics and CO2 flux associated with coal-mine drainage sites in Blythedale PA and Lambert WV, USA. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1007/s12665-015-5191-z.
Vesper, Dorothy J., Moore, Johnathan E., & Adams, James P. Inorganic carbon dynamics and CO2 flux associated with coal-mine drainage sites in Blythedale PA and Lambert WV, USA. United States. doi:10.1007/s12665-015-5191-z.
Vesper, Dorothy J., Moore, Johnathan E., and Adams, James P. Mon . "Inorganic carbon dynamics and CO2 flux associated with coal-mine drainage sites in Blythedale PA and Lambert WV, USA". United States. doi:10.1007/s12665-015-5191-z. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1480830.
@article{osti_1480830,
title = {Inorganic carbon dynamics and CO2 flux associated with coal-mine drainage sites in Blythedale PA and Lambert WV, USA},
author = {Vesper, Dorothy J. and Moore, Johnathan E. and Adams, James P.},
abstractNote = {Drainage from coal mines, where carbonate dissolution is driven by sulfuric acid, can result in a net transfer of geologically-bound carbon to the atmosphere. The flux and downstream evolution of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) is presented for two coal mine sites that discharge high concentrations of DIC (3.7–4.5 mM C) producing a total flux of DIC from the mine from 13 to 249 kg-C/year (18–364 metric tons of CO2/year). More than 65 % of the total DIC is lost via CO2 evasion with the remaining DIC is exported downstream as dissolved species. The fate of the DIC depends upon the pH of the water which is controlled by evasion of CO2, the concentration of pre-existing alkalinity, carbonate precipitation and dissolution, and metal hydrolysis reactions. The CO2 concentrations and fluxes from the study sites are comparable to those estimated from literature data for other coal mine sites in the Appalachian region. The total flux estimated from a dataset of 140 coal mines was comparable in magnitude to the CO2 emissions from a small coal-fired power plant. The extent of CO2 degassing from mine waters is poorly constrained because (1) flux estimates can be biased low when acid waters are excluded in alkalinity-based estimates; (2) flux estimates can be biased high if non-carbonate alkalinity is present in the mine waters; and (3) mine waters react rapidly following discharge hampering the measurement process. Lastly, the study sites presented illustrate the impact of coal mining as an anthropogenic influence on carbon cycling; however, more data are necessary to fully estimate the importance of this impact on regional scales},
doi = {10.1007/s12665-015-5191-z},
journal = {Environmental Earth Sciences},
number = 4,
volume = 75,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {2}
}

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