Effect of the electrocoagulation process on the toxicity of gold mine effluents: A comparative assessment of Daphnia magna and Daphnia pulex.

Author(s) Foudhaili, T.; Jaidi, R.; Neculita, C.M.; Rosa, E.; Triffault-Bouchet, G.; Veilleux, É.; Coudert, L.; Lefebvre, O.
Journal Sci Total Environ
Date Published 2020 Mar 15
Abstract

Mine effluents must meet discharge criteria for both physicochemical parameters and toxicity. While chemical precipitation is efficient for the treatment of metallic elements in mine effluents, the removal of sulfates, as a source of salinity and potential toxicity, is limited by gypsum solubility. This study evaluated the efficiency of electrocoagulation (EC), an emerging process to treat mine water, in removing sulfates and acute toxicity in two gold mine effluents (E1 and E2), before and after treatment (Fe-electrodes, 30 min at 20 mA/cm, and pH near neutrality). Standard toxicity tests were conducted on two daphnia species, Daphnia magna (standard test species) and Daphnia pulex (more common in cold climate). Four uncontaminated surface waters (S#1 to S#4), which originated from different watershed lithologies, were also used as dilution media with E1 to assess water quality effect on toxicity response. Statistical analyses using the Student's t-test showed no significant difference in immobility or mortality caused by surface waters on either D. magna or D. pulex species (p > 0.05). However, higher toxicity was observed with both daphnia when reconstituted hard water was used for testing of the treated effluent E2. The present study highlights the toxicity effect added by EC despite a sulfates-related salinity decrease of >7.5%. Further research should identify and confirm the potential sources of observed toxicity.

DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134739
ISSN 1879-1026
Citation Foudhaili T, Jaidi R, Neculita CM, Rosa E, Triffault-Bouchet G, Veilleux É, et al. Effect of the electrocoagulation process on the toxicity of gold mine effluents: A comparative assessment of Daphnia magna and Daphnia pulex. Sci Total Environ. 2020;708:134739.