Chemical alterations in three clayey soils from percolation and interaction with acid mine drainage (AMD)

E.-O.E. Agbenyeku, E. Muzenda, M.I. Msibi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The issues of acid mine drainage (AMD) from mining activities is not a new phenomenon to the present day developing South Africa as well as in most developed countries around the globe. However, the persistent rise in environmental contamination in South Africa is drastically attracting massive concerns. Vital concerns of AMD in South Africa still remain the threat to soil, surface, subsurface and ground water reserves among others, which consequentially impact human and environmental health. This insistent challenge has given rise to the need for investigating the buffering efficacy of clayey mineral soils for use as natural contaminant barriers to contaminant species from AMD. Therefore, the study presented herein, was channelled towards assessing the chemical alterations in three clayey soils from permeation and interaction with AMD via successive protracted percolation up to 18–25 pore volume passage of AMD through the respective soil medium. The final hydraulic conductivity measured, ranged between 1.3 × 10−11 m/s and 1.5 × 10−11 m/s. The obtained pH, electrical conductivity and solute breakthrough curves indicated the soils had low acid-buffering efficacies. Chemical species such as Na, Co and SO4 2− were highly dissolved due to attack on the soil grains by AMD. Chemical species were also released from the soils including the dissolution of metals and desorption of chemical species from AMD attack. As such, the study revealed that the buffering efficacies of the respective tested clayey soils to AMD chemical contaminants were generally ineffective. © 2016 The Authors
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalSouth African Journal of Chemical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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