Dept of Earth and Planetary Sciences | News | Dr Karen Hudson-Edwards and Dr Patricia Acero awarded NERC grant for research into mine waste
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Dr Karen Hudson-Edwards and Dr Patricia Acero awarded NERC grant for research into mine waste

Academics in Earth and Planetary Sciences awarded NERC grant for nano-particle research into mine waste contamination.

Dr Karen Hudson-Edwards and Dr Patricia Acero awarded NERC grant for research into mine waste contamination

Dr Karen Hudson Edwards, Reader in Environmental Geochemistry and Mineralogy, and Dr Patricia Acero, Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, have received a NERC grant of £21,000 for the project Characterisation of Nanometre-Sized Aluminium Sulphates: Implications for Mobility of Aluminium from Mine Wastes.

The grant will be used to access the Facility for Environmental  Nanoparticle Analysis and Characterisation (FENAC) located at the University of Birmingham.

Aluminium is one of the elements present in mine wastes whose high concentrations can have severe effects on ecosystems and people living in the affected areas. In spite of their importance the rates, mechanisms, products and controls on the dissolution of these aluminium sulphate minerals are not fully understood. Part of the reason for this could be that they occur as nano-sized particles, which have not been studied in depth. The FENAC NERC award will address this research gap.

Aluminium mine waste Cyprus

[Photo: Aluminium and iron-bearing sulphate minerals, Cyprus. Courtesy Dr Charlie Underwood.]

The grant will also contribute to the EU-funded Marie Curie intra-European project Reactivity of Aluminium Sulphate Minerals in Minewastes (RASMIM) in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, which aims to shed light on the reactivity of aluminium sulphates to help ensure better protection for both the environment and inhabitants of areas around new mine development.

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