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National Research Center for Coal & Energy
P.O. Box 6064
385 Evansdale Drive
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV 26506
ph 304/293-2867
fax 304/293-3749
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Topic: Selenium

Web site Description
West Virginia Water Research Institute

Identifying Sources and Effects of Selenium in the Mud River Basin (WRI-109): Studies are being conducted to determine the selenium (Se) balance in the Mud River watershed. This study has focused on determining the Hobet 21 mine contribution to water column selenium concentrations and loads, quantifying fish and benthic macro invertebrate tissue selenium concentrations, and identifying larval fish responses to the Hobet Mine discharges. It is also determining selenium concentrations in stream and reservoir sediments. The full circle approach of identifying Se concentrations in water, sediments, benthic macro invertebrates, plankton, and fish will aid in determining how Se moves through this particular watershed.

In Situ Control of Selenium in Coal Refuse (WV 275): Selenium (Se) found in West Virginia groundwater was from two sources: oxidation of Se-pyrites moved from their original location and dissolution of soluble salts when they are exposed to water (Vesper, Bryant, and Ziemkiewicz, 2004). Compliance with selenium discharge limits is a new and significant challenge for the West Virginia coal industry. While research on discharge water treatment is underway, efficient, at source selenium control would be a far more desirable approach in the long-term. This project evaluated two promising in situ treatment amendments: iron hydroxide and calcium sulfite. During year one, the project consisted of a bench scale laboratory experiment to determine the effectiveness of various amendments on reducing the concentration of selenium leaching from the coal refuse. For year two of the project, a field scale study is underway, and the effectiveness of iron hydroxide in situ is being determined.