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CeBER Seminar 2016 #11 Dr Juarez Amaral Filho

Dr Juarez Amaral Filho
Dr Juarez Amaral Filho

CeBER Seminar 2016 #11

Date: 3rd June

Guest SpeakerDr Juarez Amaral Filho

Dr Juarez Amaral Filho joined CeBER as a postdoctoral research fellow from Brazil.  He completed a PhD in Mineral and Environmental Technology from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.  Today he presented the results from his PhD work, entitled “Towards zero coal waste in Brazil”.  Although contributing a small portion of Brazil’s electricity, coal burning power stations are vital for Brazil’s energy security.  Dr Filho conducted a case study at a coal mine site in Santa Catarina, southern Brazil, where tailings from the dump site leach into surrounding rivers, lakes and the ocean.  This causes severe environmental and health risks.  Rivers polluted with the mine waste leachate are acidic (pH 2 or 3) and contain high concentrations of sulphate and heavy metals.  Dr Filho implemented a two stage density separation to split the coal waste into three fractions:  low grade coal, which can be used for energy generation; a high ash fraction which has potential application in soil amendments and construction materials; and pyrite, which can be used for sulphuric acid production.  Dr Filho discussed the economic, technological and legislative barriers to implementing this promising solution.  He highlighted the importance of proper management of coal waste, including conservation of resources and avoiding or reducing environmental impacts.  In his postdoctoral work he aims to further investigate the potential use of coal waste for fabricating soils to rehabilitate old mine sites.