Author(s): Cukrowska EM, Govender K, Viljoen M
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Abstract New column leaching experiments were designed and used as an alternative rapid screening approach to element mobility assessment. In these experiments, field-moist material was treated with an extracting solution to assess the effects of acidification on element mobility in mine tailings. The main advantage of this version of column leaching experiments with partitioned segments is that they give quick information on current element mobility in conditions closely simulating field conditions to compare with common unrepresentative air-dried, sieved samples used for column leaching experiments. Layers from the tailings dump material were sampled and packed into columns. The design of columns allows extracting leachates from each layer. The extracting solutions used were natural (pH 6.8) and acidified (pH 4.2) rainwater. Metals and anions were determined in the leachates. The concentrations of metals (Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Al, Cr, Ni, Co, Zn, and Cu) in sample leachates were determined using ICP OES. The most important anions (NO3-, Cl-, and SO4(2)-) were determined using the closed system izotacophoresis ITP analyser. The chemical analytical data from tailings leaching and physico-chemical data from field measurements (including pH, conductivity, redox potential, temperature) were used for chemometric evaluation of element mobility. Principal factor analysis (PFA) was used to evaluate ions mobility from different layers of tailings dump arising from varied pH and redox conditions. It was found that the results from the partitioned column leaching illustrate much better complex processes of metals mobility from tailings dump than the total column. The chemometric data analysis (PFA) proofed the differences in the various layers leachability that are arising from physico-chemical processes due to chemical composition of tailings dump deposit. Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.
This article was published in Chemosphere
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation