The European Commission approved the Life Etad Project (Ecological Treatment of Acid Drainage) LIFE12 ENV/ES/000250, whose goal is the development and implementation of a new method of water purification derived from mines. In this project, which counts on a 2.650.738 million Euros budget and an completion time till December 2017, participate the Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio through Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Agua,  Sacyr Construcción and the University of Huelva.

The project aims at the Conception and optimisation of the passive treatment process of acid mine drainage in a standard location in the Iberian Pyrite Belt, as well as the construction and activation of a passive treatment technology station, which will thus be a contribute to achieve the goals of the National Hydrological Plan of the Tinto, Odiel and Piedras rivers, and likewise purified waters are to be achieved to serve as an irrigation resource for vineyards and citrus production, a feasible alternative in the affected areas.  

“We will contribute to achive the goals of the National Hydrological Plan of the Tinto, Odiel and Piedras rivers”

The work already developed by the Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio consists of studying the potential locations and selecting installation implementation as well as drafting the layout, defining operations and a draft of the process. An innovation has been the station’s basic equipment designed to run by means of gravity, which avoids electricity consumption.

The results previewed state the capacity of full scale passive technologies as feasible treatment of acid mine drainage, the improvement of the water quality in the area and the resource to technologies that would solve a serious environmental problem that affects water degraded by the mine activity, both in Andalucía and in other locations in Europe, since the Life Etad project aims at presenting itself as a reference pilot project for other areas affected by similar problems in the European continent.

The intense miner activity performed in the Iberian Pyrite Belt resulted in abandoned mines and mining waste in slag heaps, sludge deposits, open air pits, etc. These degraded areas are the main contamination source of both surface and ground waters in the Odiel basin, due to the acid drainage they generate. The acid mine drainage consist of water that undergoes an alteration of its PH to acid levels. The research for new treatment methods for this acid water is crucial to improve the quality and progressive recovery of the Odiel river stream network.

This project arises then as the follow up of the intense research that has been conducted these last years, aiming at a possible solution by means of passive treatment of the acidic discharges. Treatments such as Anoxic Limestone Drains (ALD), the Alkalinity Producing Systems or the Sulphate Reducing Bioreactor, once implemented, would require a relatively low upkeep cost. Of the entire budget of approximately 2.650.738 Euros, 49,99 % come from community funds as the rest is sponsored by the LIFE ETAD  partners.

 

Source: www.iagua.es

The Sacyr Construcción company and the University of Huelva are also promoting the LIFE ETAD project, with an investment of around 2.6 million Euros.

The European Commission approved the Life Etad Project (Ecological Treatment of Acid Drainage), whose goal is the development and implementation of a new method of purification water of mine water. In this project, which counts on a 2.650.738 million Euros budget and an completion time till December 2017, participate the Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio through Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Agua,  Sacyr Construcción and the University of Huelva

The project, according to a press release of the Conserjería, aims at the Conception and optimisation of the passive treatment process of acid mine drainage in a standard location in the Iberian Pyrite Belt, as well as the construction and activation of a passive treatment technology installation.

This will thus contribute to achieve the goals of the National Hydrological Plan of the Tinto, Odiel and Piedras rivers, and likewise purified waters are to be achieved to serve as an irrigation resource for vineyards and citrus production, a feasible alternative in the affected areas.

The work already developed by the Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio consists of studying the potential locations and selecting installation implementation as well as drafting the layout, defining operations and a draft of the process. An innovation has been the station’s basic equipment designed to run by means of gravity, which avoids electricity consumption.

The results previewed state the capacity of full scale passive technologies as feasible treatment of acid mine drainage, the improvement of the water quality in the area and the resource to technologies that would solve a serious environmental problem that affects water degraded by the mine activity, both in Andalucía and in other locations in Europe, since the Life Etad project aims at presenting itself as a reference pilot project for other areas affected by similar problems in the European continent.

The intense miner activity performed in the Iberian Pyrite Belt resulted in abandoned mines and mining waste in slag heaps, sludge deposits, open air pits, etc. These degraded areas are the main contamination source of both surface and ground waters in the Odiel basin, due to the acid drainage they generate. The acid mine drainage consist of water that undergoes an alteration of its PH to acid levels. The research for new treatment methods for this acid water is crucial to improve the quality and progressive recovery of the Odiel river stream network.

This project arises then as the follow up of the intense research that has been conducted these last years, aiming at a possible solution by means of passive treatment of the acidic discharges. Treatments such as Anoxic Limestone Drains (ALD), the Alkalinity Producing Systems or the Sulphate Reducing Bioreactor, once implemented, would require a relatively low upkeep cost. Of the entire budget of approximately 2.650.738 euros, 49,99 % come from community funds as the rest is sponsored by the LIFE ETAD  partners.

 

Source: Europa Press

Researchers of the  University of Huelva and members of the Campus de Excelencia Internacional del Mar (cei·mar) – A teaching and research project in marine issues that gathers a number of Universities in Spain and in Portugal -  are working in a pioneering project with the support of the LIFE ETAD project, co-financed by the European Union and partners as Sacyr Consrtucción, the  Consejería de Medio Ambiente, through Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Agua.

This project that counts with the participation of members of the group RNM198, held by José Miguel Nieto,  is developing a system that allows turning these contaminated waters into clean waters, in an an ecological, low cost manner. The lab tests aim at presenting the layout of a passive treatment process of acid mine drainage in a standard location in the Iberian Pyrite Belt, as well as the construction and activation of a passive treatment technology installation. The project will contribute to achieve the goals of the National Hydrological Plan of the Tinto, Odiel and Piedras rivers, besides having the prospect of and intact environment, since there is no resource to electricity neither to reagents. Likewise, purified waters are to be achieved to be used as irrigation resource for vineyards and citrus production.

 

Source: Universidad de Huelva

The province of Huelva is the trial basis of an idea that can put an end to acid waters both natural and as contamination originated by mining activity.

This pioneering project is being developed in the basin of the Odiel river with the support of the LIFE ETAD project, co-financed by the European Union and partners as Sacyr Consrtucción, in the quality of engagement partner, the  Consejería de Medio Ambiente, through Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Agua and the University of Huelva.

In this project, which counts on a 2.650.738 million Euros budget, participate, among others, the researcher of the University of Huelva, José Miguel Nieto, who tries to fight acid waters resorting to scientific methods. In this condition are the main Huelva rivers, Tinto and Odiel, and experts could set in motion a system that allows turning contaminated water into clean water, “in an ecological way and at low cost”.

The project aims at the conception and optimisation of the passive treatment process of acid mine drainage in a standard location in the Iberian Pyrite Belt, as well as the construction and activation of a passive treatment technology installation.

The experts believe that this will contribute to achieve the goals of the National Hydrological Plan of the Tinto, Odiel and Piedras rivers, and likewise purified waters are to be achieved to serve as an irrigation resource for vineyards and citrus production, a feasible alternative in the affected areas.

The promoters of the initiative believe that keeping environment intact, “since there is no resource to electricity neither to reagents” is a positive argument, and the installation itself has been thought in such a way that the water flow from a part of the system to the other by means of gravity, reducing thus cost of consumables to a minimum”.

Experts performed successful lab tests of a system that is based on small grains of of limestone and calcium carbonate to be used as reactive substrate. After achieving the expected lab results is time to go out to the field. Presently, researchers are committed to sizing the equipments that is to be installed by Sacyr in 2015 in the upper part of the Odiel basin.

The results previewed state the capacity of full scale passive technologies as feasible treatment of acid mine drainage, the improvement of the water quality in the area and the resource to technologies that would solve a serious environmental problem that affects degraded water by the mine activity, both in Andalucía and in other locations in Europe, since the Life Etad project aims at presenting itself as a reference pilot project for other areas affected by similar problems in the European continent.

For the time being, tests are being carried out following the mining activity in Andalucía, although the project aims at presenting itself as a reference pilot project for other areas affected by similar problems in the European continent.

The system is so simple that it only consists on rising the water PH levels close to 3 - the level to be found in contaminated rivers – to levels above 6, a level in which the dissolved metals precipitate. For this to happen, reactive filters will be used so the water can flow by means of the gravity effect.

 

Source: Hablemos de minería

The Huelva province is at the moment the testing location of an idea that might rest the case when it comes to the mining activity that, notwithstanding its necessity, has contaminated the rivers by infiltration to such an extent that, in some cases, made the rivers’ natural colour vanish to make way to the hue of the minerals that reached the water.

The pioneering proposal is being tested in the Odiel basin and is evolving thanks to the LIFE ETAD project, co-financed by the European Union, with the participation of the company Sacyr Construcción, in the quality of engagement partner, the Consejería de Medio Ambiente, through Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Agua and the University of Huelva.

In this project, which counts on a 2.650.738 million Euros budget, participate, among others, the researcher of the University of Huelva, José Miguel Nieto, who tries to fight the acid waters with resource to scientific methods, “the result of the interaction of water with sulphides and mine waste, filled with acid and metals”. This blend ends up in the river basins contaminating the water, in such a way that sometimes it is noticeable to the naked eye.

The main rivers of the Huelva region, the Tinto and Odiel rivers feature this situation, and the experts managed to set in motion a system that allows turning these contaminated waters into clean waters, “in an ecological, low cost manner”.

The project aims at the conception and optimisation of the passive treatment process of acid mine drainage in a standard location in the Iberian Pyrite Belt, as well as the construction and activation of a passive treatment technology installation. The experts believe that this will contribute to achieve the goals of the National Hydrological Plan of the Tinto, Odiel and Piedras rivers, and likewise purified waters are to be achieved to serve as an irrigation resource for vineyards and citrus production, a feasible alternative in the affected areas.

 

“Neither electricity nor reagents"

The promoters of the initiative believe that a strong case for the system is that it does not alter the environment “because it does not resort neither to electricity nor to reagents to operate”, and even the installation has been projected “in such a way that, by means of electricity, the water to flow from a part of the system to the other and the cost of consumables to be minimum”. The experts successfully tested in laboratory a system based in small grains of limestone and calcium carbonate to be used as reactive substrate”.

After the success inside the lab, it is time to go out to the field. Presently, the treatment station is being dimensioned so that Sacyr can proceed with the works in the upper part of the Odiel basin in 2015.

The results previewed state the capacity of full scale passive technologies as feasible treatment of acid mine drainage, the improvement of the water quality in the area and the resource to technologies that would solve a serious environmental problem that affects degraded waters.

At the moment, testing will take place in the mining sites of Andalucía, although the Life Etad project aims at presenting itself as a reference pilot project for other areas affected by similar problems in the European continent.

The system is so simple that it only consists on rising the water PH levels close to 3 - the level to be found in contaminated rivers – to levels above 6, a level in which the dissolved metals precipitate. For this to happen, reactive filters will be used so the water can flow by means of the gravity effect.

Nieto highlighted that the background of this idea rests in the 90’s with passive treatments used for contaminated waters derived from the coal extraction in mines in the USA, Canada and England. Nevertheless, the tests revealed little efficacy, since the filters collapsed and lost effectiveness. The tests performed in the Odiel river, resolved that problem.

The scope of the experts’ action will be vast, due to the intense mining activity performed in the Iberian Pyrite Belt, which resulted in abandoned mines and mining waste in slag heaps, sludge deposits, open air pits, etc. These degraded areas are the main contamination source of both surface and ground waters in the Odiel basin, due to the acid drainage they generate. The acid mine drainage consist of water that undergoes an alteration of its PH to acid levels, which is exactly the problem that is to be solved.

 

 

In the entire Iberian Pyrite Belt.

The work set in motion by the leading experts might be applied in the entire Iberian Pyrite Belt, a concentration of massive sulphorides that stretches along a great part of the southern Iberian Peninsula. It is about 250 kilometres long and between 30 and 50 large, from Alcácer do sal (Portugal) to the province of Seville.

It is estimated to have lodged the greatest stock of non-ferrous metals in the world. Experts estimate that since the last 5.000 years, 2.000 million tons of mineral have been explored and around 400 are still left.    

It counts on explorations in Canal-caveira, Lousal, Aljustrel, Neves-Corvo and São Domingos (Portugal) and in the province of Huelva counts with Las Herrerías, Tharsis, La Joya, El Buitrón, Minas de Riotinto, San Miguel, Lomero-Poyatos, Cueva de la Mora, Cala, Castillo, Teuler, Mina de Aguas Teñidas and  Las Cruces, some of which penetrate in Seville soil.

The experts are presently registering the patent, but their work has already drawn the attention of South American countries, of South Africa and of Japan and it states its efficacy in the improvement of the water quality in the area directly affected by the mining activity.

 

Source: El diario.es

Project goal

Implement an optimized design of a passive treatment system for acid mine drainage process, in a kind of IPF mining location.

Demonstrate by building and launching a full-scale plant of passive treatment technology...(+) 

Project progress

 First works of the experimental treatment plant LIFE ETAD have already executed; they have consisted in transplanting of the protected species plants (Erica andevalensis) present in the plot and that could be affected by the execution of the works.

 


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