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Elemental mobility in sulfidic mine tailings reclaimed with paper mill by-products as sealing materials
Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden; Department of Environment and Mineral Resources, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk, Greenland.
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology. Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden.
Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden.
Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden; Ramböll Sverige AB, Luleå, Sweden.
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2017 (English)In: Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344, E-ISSN 1614-7499, Vol. 24, no 25, 20372-20389 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sealing layers made of two alkaline paper mill by-products, fly ash and green liquor dregs, were placed on top of 50-year-old sulfide-containing tailings as a full-scale remediation approach. The performance and effectiveness of the sealing layers with high water content for an oxygen barrier and low hydraulic conductivity for a sealing layer in preventing the formation of acid rock drainage were evaluated 5 years after the remediation. The leaching behavior of the covered tailings was studied using batch leaching tests (L/S ratio 10 L/kg). The leaching results revealed that, in general, the dregs- and ash-covered tailings released relatively lower concentrations of many elements contained in acid rock drainage compared to those from the uncovered tailings. A change in the chemical composition and mineralogical state of the tailings was observed for the tailings beneath the covers. The increase in pH caused by the alkaline materials promoted metal precipitation. Geochemical modeling using PHREEQC confirmed most of the geochemical changes of the covered tailings. Both the ash and dregs showed potential to function as sealing materials in terms of their geochemical properties. However, mobilization of Zn and Ni from the lower part of the dregs-covered tailings was observed. The same phenomenon was observed for the lower part of the ash-covered tailings. Ash showed advantages over dregs as a cover material; based on geochemical studies, the ash immobilized more elements than the dregs did. Lysimeters were installed below the sealing layers, and infiltrating water chemistry and hydrology were studied to monitor the amount and quality of the leachate percolating through.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017. Vol. 24, no 25, 20372-20389 p.
Keyword [en]
Acid rock drainage, Fly ash, Green liquor dregs, Lysimeter, Sealing layer, Tailings remediation
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-61037DOI: 10.1007/s11356-017-9650-9ISI: 000408698700021Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85023754240OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-61037DiVA: diva2:1142269
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2011-268-19774-35
Note

Funding Agencies:

European Union Structural Funds  

Northern Sweden Soil Remediation Center, EDF Objective 2 (Contract MCN IO)  43173 

Sveriges Ingenjör Environmental Fund  

Center of Advanced Mining and Metallurgy (CAMM) 

Available from: 2017-09-19 Created: 2017-09-19 Last updated: 2017-09-19Bibliographically approved

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