Thursday, February 17, 2011

Solidification of arsenic and heavy metal containing tailings using cement and blast furnace slag.

Environ Geochem Health. 2011 Jan;33 Suppl 1:151-8. Epub 2010 Nov 10.
Kim JW, Jung MC.
Department of Energy & Mineral Resources Engineering, Sejong University, Seoul, Korea.
The objective of this study is to examine the solidification of toxic elements in tailings by the use of cement and blast furnace slag. Tailings samples were taken at an Au-Ag mine in Korea. To examine the best mixing ratio of tailings and the mixture of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) and blast furnace slag (SG) of 5:5, 6:6, 7:3, and 8:2, the 7:3 ratio of tailings and OPC+SG was adapted. In addition, the mixing ratios of water and OPC + SG were applied to 10, 20, and 30 wt%. After 7, 14, and 28 days' curing, the UCS test was undertaken. A relatively high strength of solidified material (137.2 kg cm⁻² in average of 3 samples) at 28 days' curing was found in 20 wt% of water content (WC). This study also examined the leachability of arsenic and heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) under the Korean Standard Leaching Test, and it showed that the reductions in leachabilities of As and heavy metals of solidified samples were ranged from 76 to 99%. Thus, all the solidified samples were within the guidelines for special and hazardous waste materials by the Waste Management Act in Korea. In addition, the result of freeze-thaw cycle test of the materials indicated that the durability of the materials was sufficient. In conclusion, solidification using a 7:3 mixing ratio of tailings and a 1:1 mixture of OPC + SG with 20% of WC is one of the best methods for the remediation of arsenic and heavy metals in tailings and other contaminated materials.

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