Acid mine drainage and coal fly ash both are the sibling products from man’s increasing demand for power. Mining of coal from coal mines generates acid mine drainage (AMD), and burning of coal for thermal power generation produces fly ash (FA). Although both are hazardous to the ecosystem and human health, reunion of them into one would reduce their toxic effect on nature. Mining causes exposure of hidden rock materials containing an abundance of sulphide to the atmosphere. Oxidation of the metal sulphides (pyrite, as iron sulphide) within the surrounding rock and overburden generates acidity. Subsurface mining that pumps out water to prevent flooding releases acidic water to nearby areas, known as acid mine drainage. Tailings piles, mine waste rock dumps, and coal spoils contribute in AMD. Improper disposal of the fly ash contaminates the soil, water and air by leaching of the pollutants or air borne particulate matters. However filler properties and presence of macronutrients makes fly ash an excellent filler material for mine sites, and its soil-like properties help in plant growth if provided with organic carbon and nitrogen. This chapter proposes development of a green cover into AMD site after treatment of the AMD site with FA.
Part of the book: Coal Fly Ash Beneficiation