Apex Engineering served as project manager to design and implement an Anoxic Biotreatment Cell (ABC) bioreactor for nitrate removal from mine adit discharge water. I researched available technologies, designed the reactor system (including microbial, chemical, mechanical and electrical aspects), and oversaw construction. The initial bioreactor exceeded design criteria by operating at flows up to 160 gpm and up to 95 percent removal of nitrate. Based on this success, Stillwater Mining constructed ABC systems capable of treating a total of 2400 gpm at two sites.
In a later project, I evaluated methods for enhancing nitrogen removal during and after biotreatment at the Stillwater Mine. Pilot test data showed that in situ nitrification (ammonia removal) can be achieved, followed by in situ denitrification (nitrate removal) if additional carbon is supplied. Nitrogen concentrations in groundwater were reduced to below background levels.
Nitrification bioreactors at the East Boulder Mine
Overview of the East Boulder bioreactors
Original denitrification system at the Nye site
Papers on the Stillwater systems: