KWRRI Research Reports


Low-pressure ultrafiltration with negatively-charged, non-cellulosic membranes is shown to be a feasible process in terms of achieving the simultaneous separation of dissolved metals (and sulfate) and of suspended solids from acid mine drainage water. The process is evaluated in terms of the simultaneous achievement of good water flux without membrane fouling and of adequate ultrafiltrate quality at high water recovery for water reuse operation.

At a transmembrane pressure of 5.6 x 105 N/m2, water fluxes in the range of 5.8 x 10-4 cm/sec to 12.5 x 10-4 cm/sec could be obtained at 97% water recovery. The results of the ultrafiltration investigations are compared with the reported results from lime precipitation-settling and reverse osmosis treatment field studies in terms of treated water quality, reusability, concentrate (sludge) production rates, water recovery and membrane flux behavior. With a lime precipitation-settling process the treated water would be saturated with calcium sulfate.

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The work upon which this report is based was supported in part by funds provided by the Office of Water Research and Technology, United States Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C., as authorized by the Water Research and Development Act of 1978. Public Law 95-467.