Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (MSBiosyAgE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture; Engineering


Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Richard C. Warner


Weathered sandstone materials have seen increased use in reclamation due to the wide-spread adoption of the Forest Reclamation Approach (FRA) in Appalachia. Runoff from these newly FRA reclaimed sites has the potential to adversely impact aquatic environments without fine sediment retention. To reduce the size and capital investment of settling ponds, flocculant utilization was investigated. Preliminary jar tests were conducted using composite weathered mine spoil samples acquired from a surface coal mine in eastern Kentucky. Four flocculants from the Magnafloc family of products were investigated during the initial screening-level testing. Experiments were conducted at three initial sediment concentrations (500 mg/L, 2,500 mg/L and 5,000 mg/L). A nonionic flocculant, Magnafloc 351, performed best, reducing total suspended sediment to below 50 mg/L. Large scale experiments confirmed that Magnafloc 351 was effective in reducing sediment concentrations. Jar tests were expanded to determine age and environmental effects on a Magnafloc 351 solution. Magnafloc 351 performance was slightly reduced after storage in a controlled building environment for 30 days and significantly decreased after 120 days. Magnafloc 351 solution exposed to UV and high heat (111°F) was ineffective after 30 days, while storage at 4°F and 36°F for 30 days did not adversely influence performance.