Additional Related Projects

• Titrate the solutions resulting from each experiment and calculate the moles of H+ produced. Because acid mine drainage is sometimes neutralized with CaC03(S), calculate the number of moles of this substance needed to neutralize each solution.

• Monitor the concentrations of Fe(II) and Fe(III) with time and compare them with the concentration of protons (see Kargbo, 2004).

• Use microwaves to speed-up the dissolution process and compare to a control without microwaves (see Kuslu, 2002).

• For a quick demonstration of the acidifying effect of metal sulfide oxidation, test the pH of a drop of 30% H2O2 using pH paper. Place a small amount of FeS2 or FeS (about 10 mg) in a small test tube and add 15 drops of 30% H2O2 (see the cautionary note about H2O2 above). Allow the reaction to proceed until the bubbling stops. Test the pH of the solution. (See Horan, 2005).

• Because it is known that the oxygen in the sulfates resulting from acid mine drainage comes from the water in contact with pyrite, try a non-oxygenated, polar solvent and observe and comment on any possible differences in behavior observed (especially rates), as compared to your experimental observations from the present lab experiment. (See Usher, 2004).

• Treat a simulated acid mine waste by preparing a solution containing Fe3+, Fe2+, and Zn2+ (400 mg, 400 mg, and 130 mg per liter, respectively), neutralizing it with NaOH, and precipitating the metal sulfides with Na2S. Analyze the metal concentrations in the solution before and after the treatment. (See Horan, 1997 and 2005).

• Acid mine waste is sometimes treated with different organic wastes—used as substrates—whereby biological, chemical, and physical processes aid in its clean up. Use different wastes (e.g., compost, manure, hay, rich soil, and grass) and place them in a solution to be treated (prepared as in the previous project), both in an open and in a closed container. This will allow aerobic and anaerobic processes to be compared. Observe, analyze, and compare both samples. Comment on your findings. (See Horan, 1997 and 2005).






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