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Title: Development and Validation of an Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Process for Source Water

Throughout Northern Appalachia and surrounding regions, hundreds of abandoned mine sites exist which frequently are the source of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). AMD typically contains metal ions in solution with sulfate ions which have been leached from the mine. These large volumes of water, if treated to a minimum standard, may be of use in Hydraulic Fracturing (HF) or other industrial processes. This project’s focus is to evaluate an AMD water treatment technology for the purpose of providing treated AMD as an alternative source of water for HF operations. The HydroFlex™ technology allows the conversion of a previous environmental liability into an asset while reducing stress on potable water sources. The technology achieves greater than 95% water recovery, while removing sulfate to concentrations below 100 mg/L and common metals (e.g., iron and aluminum) below 1 mg/L. The project is intended to demonstrate the capability of the process to provide AMD as alternative source water for HF operations. The second budget period of the project has been completed during which Battelle conducted two individual test campaigns in the field. The first test campaign demonstrated the ability of the HydroFlex system to remove sulfate to levels below 100 mg/L, meeting the requirementsmore » indicated by industry stakeholders for use of the treated AMD as source water. The second test campaign consisted of a series of focused confirmatory tests aimed at gathering additional data to refine the economic projections for the process. Throughout the project, regular communications were held with a group of project stakeholders to ensure alignment of the project objectives with industry requirements. Finally, the process byproduct generated by the HydroFlex process was evaluated for the treatment of produced water against commercial treatment chemicals. It was found that the process byproduct achieved similar results for produced water treatment as the chemicals currently in use. Further, the process byproduct demonstrated better settling characteristics in bench scale testing. The field testing conducted in the second project budget period demonstrated the ability of the HydroFlex technology to meet industry requirements for AMD water chemical composition so that it can be used as source water in HF activities. System and operational improvements were identified in an additional series of confirmatory tests to achieve competitive cost targets. Finally, the application of the HydroFlex process byproduct in produced water treatment was demonstrated, further supporting the commercial implementation of the technology. Overall, the project results demonstrate a path to the economic treatment of AMD to support its increased use as source water in HF, particularly in regions with limited local freshwater availability.« less
  1. Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, OH (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, OH (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States