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  • Author or Editor: Marian Holub x
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Heavy metals, including copper, are a serious environmental problem today. As an essential part of acid mine drainage they cause degradation of surface and subsurface water quality, including drinking water. Significant character of acid mine drainage is low value of pH, as a result of hydrogen cations releasing into aqueous environment during the process of pyrite oxidation and high concentration of heavy metals. Sorption techniques are widely used to remove heavy metal ions from large volumes of aqueous solutions. The fact of low pH must be taken in consideration because it has a relevant impact on the behavior of the sorbent during the sorption process.In order to study the optimal parameters of the sorption process of Cu(II) from acid mine drainage (pH=3–4), two sorbents under model conditions in solutions with pH of 4 were studied. For this purpose low cost natural sorbents turf brush PEATSORB and natural zeolite were selected. Different contact time and various initial concentrations of ions were tested as variables. The properties of the tested sorbents were compared from the point of view of their efficiency and sorption capacity. The impact of sorption on the pH change in solution was also studied.

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The adsorption properties of natural zeolite (clinoptilolite) has been studied in order to determine its applicability for copper and zinc removal in acid mine drainage treatment process. For purpose of these experiments the determination of the sorption equilibrium and removal efficiencies were performed under batch conditions using single and dual-component solutions. The experiments were carried out under acidic conditions (pH approx. 4). In general, the obtained results from kinetic experiments showed rapid decrease of the metal concentration during the first 10 min, corresponding to ~80% total removal of ions from both single and dualcomponent solutions. This initial rapid period was followed by a further slow drop in metals concentration caused by ion-exchange in deeper structure of zeolite.Preliminary tests on the real samples of acid mine drainage from Smolnik mine, Slovakia, showed that natural zeolite has a potential as an alternative low cost adsorptive material for acid mine drainage treatment.

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This paper presents the results of basic research using sludge as a secondary material produced during the process of wet aggregates grading. The basic objective of this study was to identify important properties of sludge for the further use as substitute filler in the cement composites. Results of tests executed, like determination of particle size, bulk density, chemical composition (XRF method), mineralogical composition (XRD method) and both clay lumps and humus content were compared with those of natural aggregate (reference sample), as well as with standard criteria. For all tested properties, sludge shows satisfactory parameters, except the granularity. Here samples demonstrate high portions of fine particles in the 0/4 range. Thus can be concluded, sludge has a potential to be used as filler in cement composites requiring bigger amounts of fine particles, like self-compacting concretes.

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The remains of human activities may be seen in several places of the landscape in positive or negative form. Probably the most common phenomenon that fundamentally impacts the country is mining activity. The environmental problems caused by mining have attracted a great deal of research attention and led to development of numerous sediment heavy metal contamination assessment methods, including the index method, the dynamic method, the synthesis methods in chemistry, ecology and toxicology, etc.

This research was undertaken in order to determine and analyze selected heavy metals present in sediment samples collected from different sampling localities inside and around water reservoir Ruzin, Slovakia. Reservoir and its inflows are located in the vicinity of region with historical Cu, Fe, Ag, Au-deposit, which was exploited from the 14th century to 1990 and currently causing environmental burden. For the determination of sediments quality different methods (XRD and XRF analysis) have been used.

Based on the obtained data of analysis, potential ecological risk indices were used to study the pollution status of heavy metals in sediments and assess their potential ecological risk to environment.

The calculated potential ecological risk indicates the level of water environment pollution by heavy metals in the sampling localities in the studied area.

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