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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Effect of Peroxide on Neutralization-Potential Values of Siderite and Other Carbonate Minerals


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 32 No. 6, p. 2373-2378
    Received: July 22, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): JLJambor@aol.com
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  1. J. L. Jambor *a,
  2. J. E. Dutrizacb,
  3. M. Raudseppa and
  4. L. A. Groata
  1. a Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada
    b Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology (CANMET), 555 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G1, Canada


To assess quantitatively the effect of peroxide addition to standard static tests of the neutralization potential (NP) of mine wastes, 10 specimens of carbonate minerals, including five of siderite (FeCO3) and two of rhodochrosite (MnCO3), were analyzed by electron microprobe. The compositions of the siderite span a range from 60 to 86 mol % Fe. Tests of NP for the siderite diluted with 80% (w/w) kaolinite gave values of 647 to 737 kg CaCO3 equivalent per Mg for determinations by the standard Sobek method. However, if it is assumed that the ferrous carbonate component of the mineral does not contribute to NP in field situations because oxidation of Fe(II) to Fe(III) and the subsequent hydrolysis of Fe(III) leads to the release of an equivalent amount of acid, then the calculated NP for the samples ranges from 110 to 390 kg CaCO3 equivalent per Mg. Two different methods involving the addition of peroxide to the test solutions were successful in bringing the measured NP values closer to the theoretical ones. By contrast, the tests with rhodochrosite indicated the Mn(II) to be stable. For long-term environmental planning, especially for wastes from metalliferous sulfide-poor deposits in which gradual dissolution of silicate and aluminosilicate minerals may be involved in attenuating the acidity, consideration in the overall NP budget needs to be given to the ferrous iron content of those minerals. The presence of Fe2+–bearing minerals, especially carbonates, in tested mine-waste materials may lead to overestimated Sobek NP values, thus increasing the risk of poor-quality drainage and the need for costly remediation.

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