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Controls on Metal Leaching from Secondary Pb Smelter Air-Pollution-Control Residues

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journal contribution
posted on 01.11.2008, 00:00 by Vojtěch Ettler, Ondřej Šebek, Tomáš Grygar, Mariana Klementová, Petr Bezdička, Halka Slavíková
Air-pollution-control (APC) residues are among the most toxic waste materials from secondary Pb metallurgy. Two distinct APC residues collected from bag-type filters of one Czech secondary Pb smelter were subjected to leaching experiments to determine the mineralogical and geochemical controls on leaching of metallic contaminants (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn). A kinetic 720-h leaching test in deionized water at a liquid-to-solid (L/S) ratio of 10 L kg−1 and a 48-h leaching test at various L/S ratios (0.5, 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 L kg−1) were performed and coupled with the mineralogical investigation of solid residues (TEM/EDS, XRD) and PHREEQC-2 speciation-solubility modeling. The rapid release of contaminants into the solution at all the L/S ratios showed the rapid dissolution of primary phases. The leaching at high L/S ratios, representing long-term predictions of leaching behavior, showed that primary alkaline sulfates and chlorides (Na3Pb2(SO4)3Cl and KCl·2PbCl2) were dissolved and anglesite (PbSO4) was formed as their final and stable alteration product. Primary amorphous PbSO3 partly crystallized during leaching and oxidized to anglesite. These results are consistent with the mineralogical investigation of soils exposed for decades to Pb smelter emissions, where only anglesite was detected. The leaching experiments showed that washing residues at L/S > 50 accompanied by spontaneous anglesite precipitation can be an alternative for improved technological treatment of these residues. Although this process would require further treatment of contaminated effluent, the newly precipitated anglesite is more favorable than the primary APC residue phases for an efficient metallurgical recovery of Pb.