Environmental Benefits

technologyenviroAMS membranes address the growing demand of environmental legislation to minimize wastewater volumes and recycle water and chemical resources. Our ultrafiltration and nanofiltration membrane technology allows industrial clients to effectively manage their chemical, water and energy resources while minimizing wastewater and acid stream treatment costs. Furthermore, the durability and reliability of AMS membrane elements reduce the number of membrane elements that are typically replaced each year in wastewater and chemical stream installations.

Acid mine drainage is the formation and movement of highly acidic water, rich in heavy metals. This acidic water forms through the chemical reaction of surface water (rainwater, snowmelt & pond water) and shallow subsurface water with rocks that contain sulfur-bearing minerals resulting in sulfuric acid. Heavy metals can be leached from rocks that come in contact with the acid, a process that may be substantially enhanced by bacterial action. The resulting fluids may be highly toxic and when mixed with groundwater, surface water and soil, may have harmful effects on humans, animals and plants.

Membrane technology has gained worldwide acceptance as a leading separation technology due to its reliability, simplicity and low deployment and operating costs. As a result, membrane separation technology such as ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis are increasingly used to treat dilute streams and effluents generated in mining and mineral processing. Our membranes can treat these dilute streams and produce two streams: clean permeate water and a concentrate that (for certain applications) can be used for valuable inorganics recovery.

Despite the proven success of the technology many fields still cannot benefit from the advantages of membrane technology due to the limited stability, selectivity and limited operational pressure (up to 40 bar) of commercially available membranes. In theory, many industrial water and wastewater streams could be treated cost-effectively with membranes. In practice, these streams are too aggressive and would destroy commercially available membranes due to extreme pH levels or the presence of organic solvents.

AMS Technologies can significantly reduce environmental damage caused by acid mine drainage. Our membranes have been tested and proven to withstand aggressive streams and can therefore be used to treat existing contaminated tailings.