Northern Minnesota researchers close in on sulfate pollution solution

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Main News Photo

Outside the wastewater treatment plant in the Iron Range town of Aurora, a small trailer could hold clues to solving a big environmental problem facing northern Minnesota — how to protect wild rice from sulfate, a pollutant released by iron ore mines, wastewater treatment plants and other industries.

Mei Cai, an environmental engineer with the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth, points to a series of tanks where a chemical called barium chloride reacts with dissolved sulfate in the water to form particles.

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