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Acid Mine Drainage

  • Date Submitted: 04/04/2010 04:26 AM
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environmental impacts of mining at lihir high school booklet


Acids and acid rock drainage
age our oceans ? e dam n e mi


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mt f ro id


This leaflet explains all about acids and acid rock drainage

Acid rock drainage (ARD) is a process that is common on many mines and is a cause of environmental damage in many places. This booklet explains what acids are, what acid rock drainage is, and how it is managed on Lihir. Read on to find out more. > >


Acids and acid rock drainage
To understand the effects of acid rock drainage on Lihir we will look at:
1 What is an acid?

2 3 4

2 Ways of testing acidity 3 The pH scale and pH values 4 The pH of common substances 5 What is acid rock drainage? 6 What happens to acids from the mine when they reach the sea? 7 What does the siltation pond do? 8 Acids and corrosives 9 Time to check what you’ve learnt Glossary

5–6 8 9 10 12 13

back page

Read the smaller text in the orange bar at the bottom of each page if you want to understand the detailed scientific explanation. > >


What is an acid?
Acids are substances that release a hydrogen atom when they are dissolved in water. The word ‘acid’ comes from the Latin ‘acere’ (pronounced ‘ah-seh-reh’) which means ‘sour’. Strong acids, such as battery acid, are usually corrosive, which means they can burn your skin. Our stomach contains acids which are almost as strong as battery acid, but the inner lining of our stomach is constructed from special cells that protect us from the corrosive effects of our own stomach acid. The stomach acids of dogs are even stronger, strong enough to dissolve bones that they eat! The opposite of an acid is an alkali or base. Soap and bleach are examples of alkaline or basic substances. Bases usually feel slippery to touch. Like strong acids, strong alkalis, such as bleach, are also corrosive and can damage or burn your skin. Many acids however are not...


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