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"Chroma" by John Sabraw (

Painting with Acid Mine Drainage

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Coal has been king throughout portions of Appalachia for as long as anyone can remember. Its legacy is mixed, however, as abandoned mines that dot the region leach brightly colored runoff saturated with heavy metals into the watershed. Now, a collaboration between two OU engineering and art professors shows promise in a potential commercial venture to reclaim the metals to make paint pigment.