…by putting the squeeze on mining waste
You may not be able to squeeze blood out of a stone but, by applying the right amount of ultrasound during processing, Jianhua (Jason) Du and colleagues from the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) have been able to squeeze a considerable amount of fresh water from mining waste.
Honeycomb-like structure which retains significant amount of water in tailings before ultrasonic treatment. (Photo: Jason Du)
As well as conserving water the technique reduces the waste bulk, which could also save mining companies millions of dollars in operational costs and help postpone significant capital expenditure, Jason says. Jason is one of sixteen winners of the national 2010 Fresh Science program – highlighting the work of leading young scientists.