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Kemisk stabilisering av gruvavfall från Ljusnarsbergsfältet med mesakalk och avloppsslam : Chemical stabilization of mine waste with sewage sludge and calcium carbonate residues

by Höckert, Linda

Abstract (Summary)
Chemical stabilization of mine waste from Ljusnarsbergsfältet with sewage sludge and calcium carbonate residuesMine waste from Ljusnarsbergsfältet in Kopparberg, Sweden, is considered to constitute a great risk for human health and the surrounding environment. Some of the waste rock consists of sulphide minerals. When sulphide minerals come into contact with dissolvedoxygen and precipitation, oxidation may occur resulting in acid mine drainage (AMD) and the release of heavy metals. The purpose of this study has been to characterise the waste material and try to chemically stabilize the waste rock with a mixture of sewage sludge and calcium carbonate. The drawback of using organic matter is the risk that dissolved organic matter can act as complexing agents for heavy metals and in this way increase their mobility. An additional study to examine this risk has therefore also been performed.The project started with a pilot study in order to identify the material fraction that was suitable for the experiment. When suitable material had been chosen, a column test was carried out for the purpose of studying the slurry’s influence on the mobility of metals along with the production of acidity. To clarify the organic material’s potential forcomplexation a pH-stat batch test was used. Drainage water samples, from the columns,were regularly taken during the experiment. These samples were analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity, alkalinity, redox potential, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), sulphate and leaching metals. The effluent from the pH-stat-test was only analyzed on a few occasions and only for metal content and change in DOC concentration.The results from the laboratory experiments showed that the waste rock from Ljusnarsberg easily leached large amounts of metals. The stabilization of the waste rock succeeded in maintaining a near neutral pH in the rock waste leachate, compared to a pH 3 leachate from untreated rock waste The average concentration of copper and zinc in the leachate from untreated waste rock exceeded 100 and 1000 mg/l respectively, while these metals were detected at concentrations around 0.1 and 1 mg/l, respectively, in the leachate from the treated wastes. Examined metals had concentrations between 40 to 4000 times lower in the leachate from treated waste rock, which implies that the stabilization with reactive amendments succeeded. The long term effects are, however, not determined. The added sludge contributed to immobilize metals at neutral pH despite a small increase in DOC concentration. The problem with adding sludge is that if pH decreases with time there is a risk of increased metal leaching.
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School:Uppsala universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:08/22/2007

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