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Long-term geochemical evolution of acidic mine wastes under anaerobic conditions
journal contributionposted on 2022-12-01, 04:16 authored by W Lu, Chu Xia LinChu Xia Lin, Y Ma
A nearly 5-year anaerobic incubation experiment was conducted to observe the geochemical evolution of an acidic mine waste. Long-term storage of the mine waste under strict anaerobic conditions caused marked increase in aqueous sulfur, while aqueous iron showed no remarkable change. Co-existing oxidation and reduction of elemental sulfur appeared to play a central role in controlling the evolutionary trends of aqueous sulfur and iron. Addition of organic matter increased the aqueous Fe concentration, possibly due to enhanced iron mobilization by microbial iron reduction and increased iron solubility by forming organically complexed Fe species. Further addition of CaCO3 resulted in immobilization of aqueous iron and sulfur due to elevated pH and gypsum formation. The chemical behaviors of environmentally significant metals were markedly affected by the added organic matter; Al, Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn tended to be immobilized probably due to elevated pH and complexation with insoluble organic molecules, while As and Pb tended to be mobilized. Jarosite exhibited high stability after nearly 5 years of anaerobic incubation and even under circumneutral pH conditions. Long-term weathering of aluminosilicate through acid attack raised pH, while continuous reaction between the added CaCO3 and mine waste-borne stored acid decreased pH. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.