Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Site Fieldtrip

Posted on 8/30/21 12:18 PM

Professor Hao Tang recently took his students from the Environmental Aquatic Chemistry course (ENVE 301) to the Tanoma AMD Wetlands Educational Site in Tanoma, Pennsylvania, to experience examples of engineering approaches for AMD remediation.

Tang explains the concept of AMD remediation and the significance of a field trip to this course: “The eastern US has a long history of dealing with AMD, both passively and actively. The Tanoma site presents a passive treatment approach that uses a Trompe system for aeration in a settling pond and a series of subsequent wetlands for further water purification before the treated water enters Crooked Creek. The whole system does not require external energy to operate, while the iron pollutant is precipitated and the acidity is neutralized. We have learned the theoretical aspects of chemistry for AMD remediation during lecture, but there is no substitute for visiting an AMD site in person when evaluating the effectiveness of the remediation.”

The ENVE 301 course has a lab component, and each student needs to do an individualized lab project and writes a term paper.

Tang adds, “During the tour, some students formulate a hypothesis about their projects and explore where to collect water samples and how to preserve the samples prior to the lab analysis. They will come back again during the semester to gain more hands-on experience when taking their own water samples.”