Thermodynamic database implementation for hydrogeochemical numerical modeling with PHREEQC

Water Services and Technologies will present a short course at the 12th ICARD – International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage 2022 – VIRTUAL.

The short course will address the implementation of thermodynamics database for numerical modeling mine site evaluations using the software PHREEQC.

PHREEQC is a powerful tool for hydrogeochemical modeling. To be able to simulate reactions and scenarios that occurs at mining sites it is necessary the implementation of a mineralogical database that are already available in PHREEQC. However, there are mineral phases that contain chemical elements that can directly impact the prediction of future water quality in mine pits and tailings dams that are not inserted in those databases. Therefore, it is necessary to implement a site-specific database containing these mineralogical phases. Water Services and Technologies has faced these challenges in recent projects and to be able to solve them it has developed a protocol for the implementation of thermodynamic databases.

To get the best out of the course, it is recommended that participants have basic knowledge about hydrogeochemical modeling using PHREEQC. The course will provide a brief overview of numerical geochemical modeling. However the focus will be the relevant aspects related to the thermodynamics of chemical reactions in the mining environment, procedures for calculating thermodynamics parameters and how to enter this data in PHREEQC step-by-step.

Short course will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to hydrogeochemistry
  • Numerical modeling
  • Thermodynamic concepts
  • Thermodynamic parameters applied to modeling and how they can affect the results
  • Thermodynamic databases
  • Challenges and limitations in database implementation

All theory taught will be demonstrated in practical exercises. Real practical examples will be presented such as case studies where the implementation of the thermodynamic database was mandatory due to the mineralogical complexity. At the end of the course, it is expected that the participants will be able to make decisions and develop a site-specific thermodynamic database.

Please direct all short course enquiries to:

ICARD 2022 Secretariat

ICMS Australasia
Abby Moehead

Short Courses | ICARD 2022


Carolina Bittencourt de Abreu, D.Sc.

Carolina holds a bachelor’s degree in Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (2009) and a Master’s degree (2009) and Doctorate (2013) in Metalurgical and Mining Engineering. Carolina has experience in Environmental Geochemistry, Aqueous Minerals Processing and Hydrometallurgy. Currently she works with conceptual and numerical development of hydrogeochemical models, involving mass and energy transport, assessment of mine drainage and effluents contaminated by inorganic chemical species. Carolina has also experience in evaluating mining projects (mainly gold, copper, lithium, uranium and rare earth ores) for feasibility and pre-feasibility studies, due diligence and environmental audits in compliance with JORC (2012) and NI-43101 standards. She taught subjects related to environmental geochemistry, soil and groundwater contamination, and mineral processing in Higher Education Institutions in Brazil. She’s author of articles in the field of applied environmental geochemistry, with an emphasis on the study of acid mine drainage prediction, contamination of water resources.

Layane Silva, M.Sc.

Chemical Engineer graduated from Federal University of Minas Gerais (2017), with a master’s degree in Agronomy from Federal University of Lavras (2020). Layane has experience in environmental geochemistry, mineral processing, and environmental restoration of degraded areas. Currently she works as Data Scientist and Modeler, aiding in descriptive and exploratory statistical analysis of geochemical data for the conceptual and numerical development of hydrogeochemical models. Her expertise involves data quality assurance and quality control processes in the geoenvironmental field, practice in programming language such as R and geochemical models in PHREEQC.