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Remediation of acid generating colliery spoil using steel slag – case studies

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One of the legacies of the coal mining industry is the existence of numerous colliery spoil mounds. Run-off waters from some of these mounds result in oxidation of sulphur compounds causing pH to drop to perhaps as low as 2.5. At this pH, mobility for metals increases and it results in destruction of both flora and fauna. In order to reduce acidity, a number of solutions have been investigated with varying degree of success. A recent study to reduce acidity in spoil run-off water included the use of Basic Oxygen Steel slag. Its slow release of lime resulted in longer term remediation compared with other techniques. In addition to this, steel slag contains elements which are essential for plant growth and can be regarded as a weak fertiliser. This was substantiated in two field trials, which had the aim of not only remediating acidity from two different types of colliery spoils, but also to develop a composition that supports grass growth. The objectives were achieved at both sites and some of the results of over 5000 chemical tests conducted during these studies are reported in this paper.
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Bibliogr. 13 poz., tab., rys.
  • School of Civil Engineering, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B152TT, United Kingdom
  • Lafarge Tarmac Limited, Ettingshall, Wolverhampton, WV46JP, United Kingdom
  • Previously of Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NB, United Kingdom
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