Carmen Mihaela Neculita

Canada Research Chair in Passive Treatment of Contaminated Mine Waters

Tier 2 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2016-12-01
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

819-762-0971, poste 2278

Coming to Canada From

KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), South Korea

Research involves

Examining ways to improve the passive treatment of contaminated mine waters using processes such as microbial fuel cells.

Research relevance

This research will improve passive treatment systems for acid mine drainage, and will examine the effectiveness of treatment with microbial fuel cells.

Solutions for Contaminated Water from Mines

Acid mine drainage is one of the major environmental challenges faced by the mining industry worldwide. It involves the outflow of acidic water (water with low pH levels and high concentrations of heavy metals and sulphates), usually from abandoned metal mines.

Passive biological treatment is considered a long-lasting solution for treating acid mine drainage, but practical applications still need to be developed. For example, several current passive treatments have not provided satisfactory results for the removal of iron and manganese.

Dr. Carmen Neculita, Canada Research Chair in Passive Treatment of Contaminated Mine Waters, aims to increase the use and understanding of biogeochemical techniques to improve the efficiency and prolong the lifespans of passive treatment systems. Neculita is conducting laboratory testing and geochemical modelling, and is comparing lab results to those measured at contaminated mine sites.

She is also researching the use of microbial fuel cells—a promising new technique that transforms chemical energy into electrical energy—for acid mine drainage treatment.

Neculita’s research will result in significant advances in the passive treatment of acid mine drainage, and will provide useful information to mining companies and governments who manage abandoned mines.