Abstract

Wastewaters discharged from various coal-related activities deteriorate fresh water quality and inflict possibilities of groundwater contamination. Their characteristics mostly depend on the parent coal properties, though some of the pollutants are cyanide, thiocyanate, ammonia, phenol, heavy metals and suspended solids. This paper has reviewed the treatment techniques along with the characteristics of all such kinds of wastewater and also identified the challenges and future perspectives. Primarily, demineralization of coal can attenuate and control release of pollutants in wastewaters if implemented successfully. Mine water from non-lignite mines can be purified using simple techniques, for its reutilization. Acidic mine water and leachates can be treated using passive bioreactors with microbial activity, different organic substrates and limestone drains. Additionally bio-electrochemical systems, membranes, macrocapsules, zeolite filters, ores, physical barriers, and aquatic plants can also be used at various stages. Coal washery wastewater can be treated using natural coagulants obtained from plant extracts along with conventional coagulants. Nitrification and denitrification bacteria fixed in reactors along with activated carbon and zero-valent iron can treat coke oven wastewater. Some other sophisticated techniques are vacuum distillation, super critical oxidation, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis. Practical use of these methods, wisely in an integrated way, can reduce freshwater consumption.

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