Bioremediation of coal pile run off waters using an integrated microbial ecosystem

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Abstract

The pH of coal pile run off was elevated from <2 to >7 and dissolved heavy metal concentrations were brought within or below drinking water standards following batch treatments utilizing a mixed culture of bacteria. Treatment tanks containing the wastewater were inoculated with the bacterial culture and appropriate media for growth. Remediation (i.e. elevated pH, change in redox, and metal precipitation) occurred in both aerated and non-aerated treatment tanks inoculated with bacteria. The bacterial culture included specific strains of Bacillus and Pseudomonas. Remediation did not occur in treatment tanks containing growth nutrients alone.

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