Surface coal mine land reclamation using a dry flue gas desulfurization product: Short-term and long-term water responses

Liming Chen, Richard Stehouwer, Xiaogang Tong, Dave Kost, Jerry M. Bigham, Warren A. Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Abandoned coal-mined lands are a worldwide concern due to their potential negative environmental impacts, including erosion and development of acid mine drainage. A field study investigated the use of a dry flue gas desulfurization product for reclamation of abandoned coal mined land in USA. Treatments included flue gas desulfurization product at a rate of 280Mgha-1 (FGD), FGD at the same rate plus 112Mgha-1 yard waste compost (FGD/C), and conventional reclamation that included 20cm of re-soil material plus 157Mgha-1 of agricultural limestone (SOIL). A grass-legume sward was planted after treatment applications. Chemical properties of surface runoff and tile water (collected from a depth of 1.2m below the ground surface) were measured over both short-term (1-4yr) and long-term (14-20yr) periods following reclamation. The pH of surface runoff water was increased from approximately 3, and then sustained at 7 or higher by all treatments for up to 20yr, and the pH of tile flow water was also increased and sustained above 5 for 20yr. Compared with SOIL, concentrations of Ca, S and B in surface runoff and tile flow water were generally increased by the treatments with FGD product in both short- and long-term measurements and concentrations of the trace elements were generally not statistically increased in surface runoff and tile flow water over the 20-yr period. However, concentrations of As, Ba, Cr and Hg were occasionally elevated. These results suggest the use of FGD product for remediating acidic surface coal mined sites can provide effective, long-term reclamation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-465
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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