Successive alkali diffusion ceramic reactor: Long-term removal of acidity and heavy metals in acid mine drainage

Minhee Kim, Yeomin Yoon, Norashikin Kamal, Choe Earn Choong, Min Jang, Gooyong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A novel alkali diffusion reactor using ceramic porous media (ceram-ADR) was newly developed for long-term treatment of acidity and heavy metals in acid mine drainage (AMD) without external energy. The batch and column tests were performed to investigate the neutralization capabilities of six alkaline chemicals (i.e., MgO, CaCO3, CaO, SiO2, Na2CO3, and NaHCO3) and the effects on pore size and hydraulic retention time (HRT) of ceram-ADRs. Among these six alkaline chemicals, the ceram-ADR containing NaHCO3 yielded a suitable pH range for water quality guideline (pH values from 5.0 to 9.5) for an HRT of 1–2 days as well as had the best efficiency in terms of consistent alkaline diffusion and long-term heavy metal removal (>99 %). The precipitation process was found to be a major mechanism in the removal of heavy metals. Based on the continuous column tests, it was evaluated that the ceram-ADR successfully treated three consecutive runs with approximately 340 bed volumes of AMD for neutralization and heavy metal removal, indicating that the ceram-ADR can be maintained for over three years without a lapse in performance. Capsule abstract: An alkali diffusion reactor based on porous ceramic media is developed for the long-term remediation of acidity and heavy metals in AMD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103858
JournalJournal of Water Process Engineering
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The present Research has been conducted by the Research Grant of Kwangwoon University in 2023, and also supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of South Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Education (No. Grant No. 2021R1A6A1A03038785 and 2023R1A2C1003464 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • Acid mine drainage
  • Alkali diffusion ceramic reactor
  • Heavy metals
  • Long-term neutralization


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