International journal of mine water

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 29–36 | Cite as

The role of micro-organisms in the formation of acid mine drainage in the North Eastern Coalfield of India

  • N. S. Rawat
  • G. Singh
Technical Notes

Abstract

The paper deals with the nature of mine drainage in the North Eastern Coalfield, Margarita, Assam (India). The drainages from the Margerita group of mines are found to be acidic with high sulphate ranging up to 1500 ppm and iron content rising up to 40 ppm. The total sulphur in coals is up to 7% out of which 50–80% is non-reactive organically found sulphur. The acidity mainly arises from the oxidation of pyrites of coal. Microscopic studies reveal that both the reactive (size 0–5 micron) as well as stable (50 micron) pyrites are present in coal samples studied. Leaching studies indicate that oxidation of reactive pyrites followed by dissolution of sulphate sulphur is sufficient to produce the observed acidity and organic sulphur does not seem to play any significant role in acid production in mine drainages. The presence and chemical activity of iron oxidising; sulphur oxidising; and iron sulphur oxidising bacteria in mine water was ascertained by the chemical oxidation of ferrous iron to ferric iron; decrease in pH and production of acid. Iron and sulphur oxidising bacteria which are having maximum activity were examined under electromicroscope for morphological study. The rod shaped bacteria with rounded ends, size varying from 1.20–3.20 micron in length and 0.51–1.25 micron in breadth are identified asThiobacillus ferrooxidans. This bacteria is found to accelerate the sulphur leaching rate from coal and is indigenous to mine drainages.

Keywords

Pyrite Coal Seam Mine Water Acid Mine Drainage Mine Drainage 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Rawat, N. S., Saxena, A. K., Gurdeep Singh and Sundriyal, A. K., “Physico-chemical characteristics of underground mine waters and X-ray analysis of corrosion products”, J. Mines, Metals & Fuels, 29/5/, 108–114, May 1981.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Debabrata Chandra, Swapan Gobunda Choudhari and Subrata Ghose, “Distribution of sulphur in coal seams with special reference to the tertiary coals of north-eastern India”, Fuel 59, 357–359, May 1980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Water and Wastewater Analysis—A course manual, NEERI, Nagpur/India, 1979.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Indian Standards, IS; 1350, Part III, 5–13, 1962.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Thakur, D. N., Saroj, K. K. and Gupta, A., “Presence of iron and sulphur oxidising bacteria in Indian mine waters and their chemical activity”, Ind. J. of Expt. Biology, 14/2, 380–382, May 1976.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Caruccio, T. Frank and Parizek, R. Richard, “An evaluation of factors affecting AMD production and the ground water interactions in selected areas of West Penn.”, Proc. Second Symp. on Coal Mine Drainage, Res. Monroeville, Penn., 107–151, 1968.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Caruccio, T. Frank, Geidel, G. Wendelyn and Pelletier, Plike, “Occurrence and prediction of acid drainages”, J. of Energy Div., Proc. ASCE, 107, No. EY1, May 1981.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Caruccio, T. Frank, “The Quantification of reactive pyrite by grain size”, 3rd Symp. on Coal Mine Drainage Res., Mellen Inst. Pittsburgh, Penn. p. 123, 1970.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bannett, J. C. and Tributsch, H., “Bacterial leaching patterns on pyrite crystal surface”, J. Bacteriology, 310–317, April 1978.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ashmead, Douglas, “The influence of bacteria in the formation of acid mine waters”, Colliery Guardian, 694–697, June 2, 1955.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Malouf, E. E., “The role of microorganisms in chemical mining”, Mining Engineering, 23/11, 43–46, November 1971.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Water pollution microbiology, Ex. by Ralph Mitchell, Wiley Inter Science, Chapter 4, The Microbiology of Mine Drainage Pollution, p. 69, 1972.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Brimhall, B. Daniel and Wadsworth, E. Milton, “Oxygen consumption in dump leaching”, Soc. of Min. Eng. AIME Trans. 254, 68, March 1973.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Singer, C. Philip and Stumen, Werner, “Acidic mine drainage: The rate determining step”, Science, 167, 1121–1123, Feb. 1970.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. S. Rawat
    • 1
  • G. Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemical LaboratoriesIndian School of MinesDhanbadIndia

Personalised recommendations