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Lab 4 – Energy Sources and Alternative Energy

Experiment 1: The Effects of Coal Mining
Table 1: pH of Water Samples
Water Sample
Initial pH
Final pH (24-48 hours)
Pyrite
6
7
Activated Carbon
6
7
Water
6
6
NOTE: Picture below is after 48 hours of all three samples sitting in a warm place.

POST LAB QUESTIONS

1. Develop hypotheses predicting the effect of pyrite and coal on the acidity of water?

a. Pyrite hypothesis = If pyrite is in the water source, then it will make the specimen more acidic.
b. Coal hypothesis = If coal is in the water source, then it will make the specimen more acidic.

2. Based on the results of your experiment, would you reject or accept each hypothesis that you produced in question 1? Explain how you determined this.

a. Pyrite hypothesis accept/reject = Rejected The hypothesis was rejected as the pH levels in the water increased when tested. While it was only one level, it was higher than the original sample.
b. Coal hypothesis accept/reject = Rejected The hypothesis was rejected as the pH levels in the water increased when tested. While it was only one level, it was higher than the original sample.

3. Based on your data, what effect do you predict coal mining has on the environment?

Answer = Based on the data and research it indicates that there is a small impact on the environment, but based on the knowledge obtain from research, coal mining does have a dangerous effect on the environment.

4. What can be done to prevent mine drainage from damaging the ecosystem? Utilize at least one scholarly resource to support your suggestions.

Answer = Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is a growing concern in mining operations today. Research associates AMD with new construction, mining, and quarry activities (Akcil & Koldas, 2006). This is a real concern today due to the increase in coal mining and quarry activities associated with energy exploration. For example, clean coal technology has increased



References: Akcil, A., & Koldas, S. (2006). Acid Mine Drainage (AMD): causes, treatment and case studies. Journal of Cleaner Production, 14(12), 1139-1145. Bussière, B., Benzaazoua, M., Aubertin, M., & Mbonimpa, M. (2004). A laboratory study of covers made of low-sulphide tailings to prevent acid mine drainage. Environmental Geology, 45(5), 609-622.

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