The wastewater from the world’s largest antimony mine (Hunan, China) contains high level of metal and metalloid contaminants (As, Cd, Hg, Pb, Se, and Sb). We tested the effectiveness of low-cost local industrial by-products [coal fly ash (CFA) and Ca–Si slag from the metals industry] and traditional agents [limestone, diatomaceous earth (DE), and zeolite] to treat the wastewater. Their relative effectiveness ranked: CFA > Ca–Si slag > DE > limestone > zeolite. CFA and Ca–Si slag removed 9.9–85.5% of the As, Cd, Hg, Pb, Se, and Sb from the wastewater. The CFA and Ca–Si slag could be used as commercial filters or biogeochemical barriers to protect surface water and groundwater. A similar approach could be used at other mines.
Mine Water and the Environment – Springer Journals
Published: May 19, 2017
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