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Impact of declining oxygen conditions on metal(loid) release from partially oxidized waste rock
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering. Sweco Environment, Luleå, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3382-1764
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1298-0320
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7291-8585
2019 (English)In: Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344, E-ISSN 1614-7499, Vol. 26, no 20, p. 20712-20730Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The best available technology for preventing the formation of acid drainage water from the sulfidic waste rock at mine closure aims to limit the oxygen access to the waste. There is, however, a concern that contaminants associated with secondary minerals become remobilized due to changing environmental conditions. Metal(loid) mobility from partially oxidized sulfidic waste rock under declining and limited oxygen conditions was studied in unsaturated column experiments. The concentrations of sulfate and metal(loid)s peaked coincidently with declining oxygen conditions from 100 to < 5 sat-% and to a lesser extent following a further decrease in the oxygen level during the experiment. However, the peak concentrations only lasted for a short time and were lower or in the similar concentration range as in the leachate from a reference column leached under atmospheric conditions. Despite the acid pH (~ 3), the overall quality of the leachate formed under limited oxygen conditions clearly improved compared with atmospheric conditions. In particular, the release of As was two orders of magnitude lower, while cationic metals such as Fe, Cu, Mn, and Zn also decreased, although to a lesser extent. Decreased sulfide oxidation is considered the primary reason for the improved water quality under limited oxygen conditions. Another reason may be the immobility of Fe with the incorporation of metal(loid)s in Fe(III) minerals, in contrast to the expected mobilization of Fe. The peaking metal(loid) concentrations are probably due to remobilization from solid Fe(III)-sulfate phases, while the relatively high concentrations of Al, Mn, and Zn under limited oxygen conditions were due to release from the adsorbed/exchangeable fraction. Despite the peaking metal(loid) concentrations during declining oxygen conditions, it is clear that the primary remediation goal is to prevent further sulfide oxidation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019. Vol. 26, no 20, p. 20712-20730
Keywords [en]
Metal mobility, Mine closure, Mine waste, Remediation, Waste rock, Water quality
National Category
Geochemistry
Research subject
Applied Geochemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-74538DOI: 10.1007/s11356-019-05115-zISI: 000473172800058PubMedID: 31104229Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85066092530OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-74538DiVA, id: diva2:1324765
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-07-12 (johcin)

Available from: 2019-06-14 Created: 2019-06-14 Last updated: 2019-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Kaasalainen, HannaAiglsperger, ThomasAlakangas, Lena

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