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A review of the implications and challenges of manganese removal from mine drainage

Neculita, Carmen Mihaela, Rosa, Eric
Chemosphere 2019 v.214 pp. 491-510
adverse effects, drainage, ecosystems, effluents, human health, manganese, mining, research and development, surface water
Manganese (Mn) is the third most abundant transition metal in the Earth's crust. Decades of increasing worldwide mining activities have inevitably led to the release of large amounts of this metal into the environment. Mine drainage, either acidic or neutral, often contains high levels of Mn, which have potentially detrimental effects on ecosystems and receiving water bodies. This review provides a comprehensive assessment of the main implications and challenges of Mn treatment in mine drainage. With this aim, the beneficial and adverse effects of Mn on ecosystems and human health are presented first. A comparison of background and mine effluents Mn contents is also provided, further stressing the need for Mn removal from mine drainage. Several technical options to address Mn contamination in acid and neutral mine drainage, and the challenges associated with Mn removal, are subsequently discussed. Thus, this paper presents up-to-date knowledge on the available physicochemical and biological processes deemed operative in Mn removal during mine drainage treatment and their limitations considering the distinctive behavior of Mn. The discussion is further extended to passive treatment systems, which are the most commonly implemented systems for mine drainage treatment on abandoned or closed mine sites, and highlights both their design criteria and operation requirements, as well as the factors that influence Mn removal efficiency. Finally, new perspectives on future research and development needs are identified to address the challenges in Mn removal during mine drainage treatment.