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Laboratory studies using naturally occurring "green rust" to aid metal mine water remediation

By Jenny M. Bearcock, William T. Perkins and Nicholas J.G. Pearce

Abstract

Green rust, an Fe (II) and (III) oxyhydroxy salt, can alter the aqueous oxidation state, mobility and toxicity, of inorganic contaminants and thus could have applications in water treatment. This paper discusses a series of stirred, open batch experiments designed to evaluate green rust, and its oxidised equivalent in this context comparing it to a ferrihydrite/goethite ‘ochre’. Natural green rust was added to different mine waters as either a wet, reduced material or a dry, partially oxidised material. Experiments showed that the addition of either form accelerated the removal of potentially harmful elements from solution. Within one hour Fe, Al and Cu were completely removed from mine waters with initial concentrations of 80, 70 and 8.5 mg/L respectively, and Zn was reduced from 60 to <5mg/L. These experiments show the potential of green rust in mine water treatment, especially as it is able to remove problematic elements such as Al and Zn. The material is effective even after being dried and mostly oxidised. Changes to the pH and ORP of the mine waters and surface catalysis are the suggested mechanisms of accelerated removal of contaminants

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2011.03.074
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:14358

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