Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Treatment for Wastewater in Open-pit Mines

15.03.2012
Together with the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg Siemens has developed plants for the treatment of wastewater in open-pit mines, which make the ore extraction process more environmentally friendly.

As the operators can reuse the treated water, the mine requires less water. The wastewater produced by mines is in parts very acidic which contributes to the extraction of metals. The processing plant can treat the most part of the mine's wastewater. A pilot plant for the new treatment technology is installed at a copper mine in Chile.


Everyday, copper mines use tens of thousands of cubic meters of water - some mines even use over one hundred thousand. This corresponds to the water consumption of a medium sized city. Many mines cannot expand their production because they do not have enough water.

Mine operators in Chile are building desalination facilities for sea water and are pumping the valuable water from the coast to the mining regions, which are located at an altitude of 3,000 meters. The wastewater is used to transport fine grain residues to big reservoirs. Increasing water shortages and stringent environmental regulations are forcing mine operators to think about treating and reusing the wastewater.

Siemens is exploiting this trend and is transferring tested processes from the treatment of drinking water to the mines. In the mobile pilot plant, the contaminated water is passed through two treatment stages:

First a micro filters remove particles that are bigger than a thousandth of a millimeter. In the next stage - nanofiltration - the water is passed through a membrane with nanopores so that nearly all pollutants are separated from the water. What is left is pure water of a high quality and a concentrated solution of the contaminants, which must then be disposed of.

The throughput of the pilot plant is nearly 100 cubic meters of water per day - a fraction of the wastewater produced by a mine. Siemens uses the plant to demonstrate the process and to analyze the wastewater produced by a mine, as the composition of each mine's wastewater is different. The data gained by the pilot plant serves as the foundation for the design of the actual treatment facility.

Siemens has been cooperating with the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg for some years to research innovative concepts for the treatment of wastewater from mines. As the company with the largest environmental portfolio worldwide, which generated sales of approximately €30 billion in fiscal 2011, Siemens can and will make a major contribution in this area.

Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens InnovationNews
Further information:
http://www.siemens.com/innovationnews

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

nachricht From the Arctic to the tropics: researchers present a unique database on Earth’s vegetation
20.11.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electronic evidence of non-Fermi liquid behaviors in an iron-based superconductor

11.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Topological material switched off and on for the first time

11.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

NIST's antenna evaluation method could help boost 5G network capacity and cut costs

11.12.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>