Whitepaper

Compact AnMBR system for the Wisconsinbased dairy processor

Berghof Membranes, with its extensive experience in treating industrial effluent using PVDF tubular membranes, developed a compact AnMBR system for the Wisconsinbased dairy processor.

METAL & MINING

mining water
MBR for mining camps

Decades of experience.​​

Water treatment for the metal and mining industry

The metal and mining sector deals with the location and extraction of metal and mineral reserves, producing a wide range of metals, and minerals. These products are later used for manufacturing automobiles, electric and industrial equipment, jewelry, and many others, providing an idea of the hugeness of the metal and mining sector. It is in fact one of the most intensive water users. The extraction and processing of metals and minerals generate large amounts of highly polluted wastewater, which is frequently disposed of on-site in large ponds.

The quantity and quality of the mining wastewater greatly depend on the ground characteristics and vary widely from mine to mine. The main pollutants are dissolved minerals, including metals, sulfates, and hardness. On the contrary, contaminants such as organic matter such as COD and BOD are not typically an issue of concern.

The main waste stream generated by mining activities is the so-called mine tailings, consisting of the materials left over after the process of separating the valuable metals from the ore. Therefore, tailings are a mixture of water, ground rock, and process effluents generated in the mine processing plant. They can be highly polluting and dangerous due to the presence of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, sulfides, and radioactive compounds.

Acid mine drainage

Acid mine drainage (AMD) is the mining wastewater of greatest concern. It is an acidic stream with high concentrations of dissolved metals and sulphates. The AMD is generated when sulfide minerals are present in the tailings. In contact with the air, and usually with bacterial activity, sulfuric acid is formed. Due to the low pH, metals such as copper, lead, cadmium, arsenic are dissolved. In contact with surface or groundwater, the effects on the environment can be devastating. 

Finally, there are residual sources of wastewater, such as the washing water from cleaning equipment containing mud, debris, and emulsified oil. Lastly, domestic wastewater generated in the mine camps in remote locations is a stream of wastewater typically seen in the mining sector.

Challenges for wastewater treatment in the metal and mining industry

The fact that water is critical in any type of mining activity is unquestionable. On the one hand, mines are often located in remote sites with scarce water supplies. Many mines in South America use seawater that, after desalination, is pumped hundreds of km to high-altitude mining sites. This entails high operational costs with intensive use of energy.

Additionally, mining wastewater is known to have a huge impact on the environment. Affections such as environmental disasters by leaking ponds, groundwater pollution or harm to wildlife have led to a highly unfavourable public perception and to a strict regulatory scrutiny. The result is the rising awareness within mining operators and the investment in efficient water management systems for treating with high standards, reusing water by means of ZLD approaches and also improving the recovery of metals.    

The target contaminants in mine tailings and AMD are dissolved metals, which are removed by physical-chemical processes. Traditionally, chemical precipitation and separation processes (clarifiers, multimedia filters) have been combined. However, the need for achieving better effluent quality and the increasing interest in water recycling has put into play more advanced and efficient membrane-based technologies. 

Benefits of tubular membrane solutions for the metal and mining industry

The external ultrafiltration of Berghof Membranes provides different solutions for mining wastewater, satisfying the most common demands from the mining industry: robustness, compactness, modularity and ease of maintenance are crucial features for any equipment to be installed in the remote mining locations. 

Direct UF is applied for tailings and AMD, usually coupled to a chemical precipitation process. When high pH is required for metal removal, CR membranes are installed. Berghof membranes are also applied for the recovery of valuable metals. The decentralized treatment of the domestic-type wastewater from the remote mining camps is also addressed with the external MBR solution. 

Applications of tubular UF membrane technology in the metal and mining industry

Direct UF | Mine tailings and acid mine drainage

Berghof membranes completely remove the particles and colloids present in mine tailings and AMD.
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Direct UF | recovery of valuable materials

Some waste streams contain high-value products such as metals. Metal recovery processes are attracting increasing attention, as a way for gaining profitability while reducing the environmental footprint.
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MBR | decentralized wastewater treatment in mining camps

Hauling wastewater from camps is expensive and on-site treatment is becoming economically advantageous. Berghof Membranes tubular MBR provides effective decentralized treatment and makes the mining camps more sustainable.
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Please choose the application that applies to you.
Is your application not listed? Then please contact us.

Manufactured in Germany

5/5

Made in a state-of-the art LEAN-production facility, with highly-trained production personnel and materials of the highest quality.

 

With 50 years of experience and more than 2.000 projects worldwide, Berghof Membranes is the leading manufacturer of high quality tubular ultrafiltration membranes.  

Tubular UF Membrane Modules

To prevent fouling and clogging, Berghof Membranes developed its line of robust tubular UF (ultrafiltration) membrane modules based on inside-out crossflow filtration. 

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Membrane Skid systems

Berghof Membranes developed B-SMART®, a customizable external membrane filtration system that can be designed with various features and functionalities. 

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Pilot systems & Lab testing

Bridging the gap between lab-scale testing and manufacturing. Our team of experts gives you the confidence to apply the technology for your specific wastewater challenges.

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B-CARE® Service and Support

The B-CARE® program is an end-to-end comprehensive program developed to support our OEM partners from the piloting/engineering phase to operational system monitoring.

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Case Studies

Our projects

50 years of experience and more than 2.000 project references across the globe.

AnMBR | Dairy Industry

A dairy processor in Richland County, Wisconsin needed to find an efficient process to generate electricity and heat from their wastewater and to further treat anaerobic industrial wastewater.

>> Read more

wastewater system food and beverage

MBR | Food & Beverages

In order to meet the increasing demand, Holland Malt has decided to double its
malting capacity. For this the company needed high-quality permeate to reuse for production.

>> Read more

recovery of valuable material metal and mining

Direct UF | Titanium Recovery

Our OEM-Partner needed to design a robust and adaptable UF system that could keep up with the high-solid streams and conditions of this demanding process while minimizing OPEX and fouling. 

>> Read more

Think outside the box

When it comes to membrane filtration, think outside the box and contact Berghof Membranes today.

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International Sales Office:
Agora 4, 8934 CJ Leeuwarden, 
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