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Suitability study of industrial residues for prevention of acid rock drainage generation from waste rock
(Applied geochemistry)
(Applied geochemistry)
(Applied geochemistry)
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Geochemistry
Research subject
Applied Geochemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-68488OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-68488DiVA, id: diva2:1200778
Available from: 2018-04-24 Created: 2018-04-24 Last updated: 2018-04-24
In thesis
1. Suitability of industrial residues for preventing acid rock drainage generation from waste rock
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Suitability of industrial residues for preventing acid rock drainage generation from waste rock
2018 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Lämplighet av industriella restmaterial för att förhindra bildning av surt lakvatten från gråberg
Abstract [en]

One of the main and most challenging environmental problems related to mining is the generation of acid rock drainage (ARD), a leachate characterized by low pH and elevated concentrations of sulfate, metals, and metalloids formed when sulfide-bearing minerals are subjected to oxygen and water. During the operation of a mine, waste rock is often deposited in heaps and usually left under ambient conditions, enabling sulfides to oxidize. Generated ARD is commonly treated actively with alkaline material in an attempt to raise the pH and precipitate metals, with subsequent formation of sludge, which requires additional treatment. To focus on the treatment of waste rock rather than the ARD could prevent the generation of ARD; reduce the lime consumption, costs, and sludge treatment. This thesis aims to identify and evaluate the potential of different industrial residues to maintain circumneutral pH in a sulfide oxidation environment, allowing secondary minerals to form on the reactive sulfide surface to prevent sulfide oxidation and generation of ARD.

Five different industrial residues (blast furnace slag, granulated blast furnace slag, cement kiln dust, bark ash, and lime kiln dust) were selected in a feasibility study performed prior to this study. The selection was based primarily on their alkaline properties, availability, and early yield. The waste rock was selected due to its high content of sulfides (>50%) and potential to generate ARD. Initial characterization of the industrial residues included combining mineralogical and chemical composition with batch testing (L/S 10). Sulfide oxidation in the leaching of the waste rock accelerated after week 29 resulting in high concentrations of major elements such as Al, Fe and S but also extremely high concentrations of e.g. As, Cu, Mn, Pb, Sb and Zn despite their relatively low content in the waste rock. Leaching was conducted during 14-153 weeks. The initial characterization implied that all of the studied industrial residues has the potential to prevent ARD generation. However, the enrichment and leachability of Pb in the cement kiln dust, as well as Cr and Zn in the bark ash, suggested the presence of elements of potential concern that could limit the use of the materials. When the industrial residues were added to the waste rock surface in small-scale laboratory test cells, blast furnace slag, granulated blast furnace slag, and cement kiln dust self-cemented and failed to maintain circumneutral pH, whereas bark ash (1wt.%) prevented acidity, metal and metalloid leaching. However, the use of bark ash may prove problematic due to the release of Cl, K, and Na likely related to salt dissolution. Lime kiln dust (5wt.%), the most promising of the industrial residues, maintained a circumneutral pH throughout the time of leaching, with an overall decrease of metal and metalloid concentrations by more than 99.9%. Results from investigations of secondary minerals formed combined with element release during the leaching period suggest that the addition of LKD to the waste rock led to decreasing concentrations of S in the leachate due to decreased sulfide oxidation, which subsequently led to gypsum dissolution. Moreover, the addition of LKD to the waste rock generated a lower amount of secondary minerals compared to when no addition was made.

The results from these studies increase the understanding of advantages and limitations of using selected industrial residues in the treatment of mine waste. Moreover, it shows that a rather small amount of alkaline material, corresponding to 4% of the net neutralizing potential of waste rock, can prevent the acceleration of sulfide oxidation and subsequent release of sulfate, metals, and metalloids. However, the quantity and long-term stability of the formed secondary minerals need to be evaluated and understood before this method can be applied at larger scale.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2018
Series
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
National Category
Geochemistry
Research subject
Applied Geochemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-68490 (URN)978-91-7790-132-7 (ISBN)978-91-7790-133-4 (ISBN)
Presentation
2018-06-19, E632, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-04-25 Created: 2018-04-24 Last updated: 2018-06-12Bibliographically approved

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