Is There a Place for Advanced Water Treatment on the Butte Hill?

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Butte is a place where a rich mining history and unique architecture coexist with very large environmental challenges. Many of these environmental challenges, notably acid rock drainage (ARD) and mine wastes, greatly impact the groundwater and surface water nearby. This lecture will examine some treatment options available for difficult to treat waste, with a specific focus on a novel method of ARD treatment, membrane distillation (MD), that enables rapid, high volume treatment of acidic wastes.

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Katherine R. Zodrow, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering at Montana Tech and a nonresident scholar in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Her interests include water treatment systems, the water-energy nexus, interactions between microorganisms and engineered systems, and nanotechnology. She became interested in treatment technologies for mine wastes when she moved to Butte in 2016.