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Acid Mine Drainage Project Lab

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    This laboratory project uses the context of Acid Mine Drainage to teach concepts important to analytical chemistry and quantitative analysis. Students set up experiments that mimic the process of metal sulfide mineral oxidative dissolution. The experiments explore how the rate of dissolution changes with respect to changes in pH, added oxidizing agents, and oxygen rich or oxygen poor environments. Visible spectroscopy is used to initially measure the concentration of complexed iron in solution. ICP-AES is used to verify the stoichiometry of the arsenopyrite sample. Elemental sulfur determination and the speciation of the aqueous sulfur in the solution can be determined using reverse phase and ion pair high performance liquid chromatography.


    This picture, taken in 2001, is from inside the Iron Mountain Mine, located near Redding, California. The mine was closed in 1962, and later, the EPA identified the site as the largest discharger of toxic metals in the US. Cations of Ni2+ and Cu2+ cause the deep green blue color you see in the photo.

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