Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) needs to be treated before it can be re-used or discharged in receiving water bodies due to the low pH, high salinity and high sulphate concentrations of the water. Several treatment methods are currently applied including chemical treatment (e.g. eutralisation of the low pH waters), physical treatment (e.g. reverse osmosis) and biological treatment to reduce the high sulphate concentration. When treating AMD biologically, sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB) reduce sulphate to sulphide, provided that a suitable and cost effective carbon and energy source is present. In the resent study mine water was remediated iologically, using the degradation products of grass-cellulose, as carbon and energy sources for the sulphate reducing bacteria. A laboratory scale one stage anaerobic bioreactor (20 L volume) containing grass cuttings and biomass consisting of rumen fluid microorganisms and immobilized SRB, was initially fed with synthetic sulphate rich water and later with diluted AMD. The results indicated an average of 86% sulphate removal efficiency when feeding synthetic sulphate rich feed water to the reactor. When feeding diluted AMD, the highest sulphate removal efficiency was 78%. The sulphate removal was dependant on
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) concentrations in the reactor. Increased COD oncentrations were obtained when fresh grass was added to the reactor on a regular basis. Metal emoval, especially iron, was observed due to the metal sulphide precipitates ormed uring biological sulphate removal.