Coal mining, particularly surface mining, leads to large areas of land being temporarily disturbed. The mine workings collect and conduct water that is in contact with the widespread pyrite, a mineral that produces iron and sulfuric acid when exposed to air and water. In this lab, you will see first-hand the reasons why mine drainage can be harmful to the local drainage system if left untreated.
(3) 100 mL Beakers
1 tsp. Crushed pyrite
1 tsp. Activated carbon
1 Piece of pH paper Permanent marker
Measuring spoon (or teaspoon)
* You must provide
Figure 2: pH Key
1. Label three beakers: Water, Pyrite, and Carbon.
2. Pour 100 mL of water into each beaker.
3. Cut your pH paper into 6 even pieces.
4. Test the pH of each beaker and record the results in Table 1.
5. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the crushed pyrite and activated carbon into their corresponding beakers.
6. Set the beakers in a warm place for 48 hours, then test the pH of each. Record the results in Table 1.
Table 1: pH of Water Samples after 48 Hours
Initial pH Value
Final pH Value
Activated Carbon 7