December 16, 2019 at 4:02 pm

Wolbert Earns Prestigious Groundwater Research Prize for Work on Acid Mine Drainage

Ryan Wolbert, pictured beside an acid mine drainage site

Ryan Wolbert

Ohio University graduate student Ryan Wolbert received the Farvolden Award at the National Groundwater Association’s annual Groundwater Summit in Las Vegas in December.

The Farvolden Award is given to the most outstanding student posters on a scored, judged presentation.

Wolbert, who is pursuing an M.S. in Geological Sciences at OHIO, presented his thesis research, “Remediation Approach for Improving Acid Mine Drainage Conditions Using Slow Release Hydrogen Peroxide Systems.” Wolbert’s thesis adviser, Dr. Eung Seok Lee, was a co-author on the poster.

“I have been investigating the potential of using slow-release forms, created using polymeric binder and reagent salts that release strong oxidant and alkalinity upon dissolution in water. This study aimed to rapidly precipitate heavy metals from acid mine drainage and impacted streams, as well as improve water parameters such as pH and minimize ecological impacts of remediation within the system. I have been monitoring the oxidant release kinetics and duration through laboratory testing, as well as studying remediation efficiency through field testing,” Wolbert said.

Ryan Wolbert, portrait

Ryan Wolbert


About the NGWA Farvolden Award

Farvolden Awards are given to the best student presentations at the Groundwater Summit. The four Farvolden Award winners are each given a $1,000 prize.

Dr. Robert N. Farvolden was one of the early pioneers in the development of modern hydrogeology as both a science and a profession. A Canadian, he studied at the University of Illinois and worked at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nev., focusing on regional hydrogeologic issues and the interaction between groundwater and surface water. In the early 1970s, he moved to the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, where he founded what would grow to be one of the largest and most progressive institutions for the study of groundwater science in the world. The vast majority of his work focused on the development and management of safe water supplies for populations in underdeveloped areas. Farvolden also served as a senior scientist for NGWA.


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