Sibel Pamukcu | Lehigh University | Priscilla Nelson | Colorado School of Mines

Theme: Avoiding catastrophic failure through water and water pressure control 

Title: Sustainable EK/EO for Water Management and Resource Recovery from Tailings  

Project team:  

Offering to sponsors 

The project offers proven technology to rapidly control and manage water in tailings without high CAPEX. 

Project summary:  

The project uses Electro-Kinetics/Electro-Osmosis (EK/EO) to dewater placed tailings (embankment or impoundment). EK/EO involves the application of direct current through electrodes installed in tailings materials, driving water flow out of the materials. The well-known technique has been successfully applied to dewater high water content dredged materials and slurries and will work best in fine grained materials. 

EK/EO can be applied to manage water pressure within large masses. By integrating the electrodes with a sensor network, mine sites will be able to ‘surgically’ target zones in which porewater pressures are indicated to be increasing, rapidly reducing pressures as water is driven to a drainage anode.  EK/EO can also be used in conjunction with Electro-Dialysis (ED) and ion exchange membranes to remove and recover metals, REEs and other species from seepage and impoundment water. 

Benefit to industry:  




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