Investigating the Geochemistry of Selenium (Se) in the Residual from Biological Wastewater Treatment

Although selenium is an essential element for human and animal health, it has a narrow concentration range before becoming toxic. Industrial practices, such as mining, can result in elevated levels of selenium to be introduced into surface water bodies, hence, treating mine processing water and wastewater is commonly done to reduce the potential for environmental impacts. Bacterially mediated redox processes are currently used in the mining industry to remove selenium from wastewater. The byproduct of this treatment is a solid state residual which contains high concentrations of selenium. The objective of this research is to investigate how selenium is occurring in the residual which will aid in understanding the risk it poses. This improved understanding of selenium within the residual will support the decision making process for managing the residuals in terms of disposal options and thereby reduce risk to environmental receptors.

Intern: 
Laura Desaunoy
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dirk Kirste
Province: 
British Columbia
Partner University: 
Program: