In situ stabilization of heavy metals in a tailing pond with a new method for the addition of mineral stabilizers-high-pressure rotary jet technology.


Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, National Research Center for Geoanalysis, Key Laboratory of Eco-geochemistry, Ministry of Natural Resources, Beijing, 100037, China. [Email]


As the demand for metal minerals grows, the number of mine tailings increases dramatically worldwide. Toxic heavy metals (HMs) in tailings tend to migrate into the environment and cause serious damage to the surroundings. Possible eco-friendly solutions for the in situ stabilization of HMs in tailing ponds are required to reduce their mobility. Leaching tests were performed with attapulgite, zeolite, and bentonite to determine which stabilizer is more efficient. As a result, attapulgite has more significant effect with certain dose on metal mine tailings than zeolite or bentonite, especially in a strongly acidic environment. In addition, an in situ stabilization experiment was performed by adding a stabilizer to a lead-zinc mine tailing pond with high-pressure rotary jet technology. The field experiment indicated that the concentrations of HMs in the leachate substantially decreased (30.5% for Cr, 43.1% for Cu, 87.8% for Zn, 82.9% for Cd, and 42.4% for Pb) after the HMs were stabilized by high-pressure rotary jet technology. A set of parameters for the rotary jet process was obtained when the in situ stabilization experiment was carried out.


Heavy metals,High-pressure rotary jet,Pb/Zn mine tailings,Stabilization,

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