University of Oulu

Kinnunen, P., Ismailov, A., Solismaa, S., Sreenivasan, H., Räisänen, M., Levänen, E., Illikainen, M. (2018) Recycling mine tailings in chemically bonded ceramics – A review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 174 (), 634-649. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.10.280

Recycling mine tailings in chemically bonded ceramics : a review

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Author: Kinnunen, Päivö1,2; Ismailov, Arnold3; Solismaa, Soili4;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit
2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London
3Tampere University of Technology, Department of Materials Science
4Geological Survey of Finland, Industrial Environments and Recycling Unit
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2018
Publish Date: 2020-02-10


Mine tailings account for most of the environmental incidents related to the extractive industry, with risks increasing due to steadily rising tonnage of low-grade ore and extreme weather events. Recycling of tailings in raw-material-intensive applications presents an interesting alternative to costly tailings management with associated restoration efforts. Chemically bonded ceramics may offer a route to upgrading mine tailings into raw materials for ceramics. In this review such chemically bonded ceramic methods that may be used to recycle mine tailings as raw materials, are reviewed while focusing in particular on two methods: 1) geopolymerization/alkali activation and 2) chemically bonded phosphate ceramics. The aim of the review is not to give exhaustive review on the wide topic, but to scope the required boundary conditions that need to be met for such utilization. According to the findings, alkali activation has been studied for 28 separate silicate minerals in the scientific literature, and presents a viable method, which is already in commercial use in calcium-rich cement-like binder applications. Phosphate bonding literature is more focused on phosphate containing minerals and waste encapsulation. Very little work has been done on low-calcium tailings utilization with either technology, and more knowledge is needed on the effect of different pre-treatment methods to increase reactivity of mine tailings in chemically bonded ceramics.

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Series: Journal of cleaner production
ISSN: 0959-6526
ISSN-E: 1879-1786
ISSN-L: 0959-6526
Volume: 174
Pages: 634 - 649
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.10.280
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 216 Materials engineering
218 Environmental engineering
222 Other engineering and technologies
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland [grant #292526: Novel synthesis methods for porous ceramics from mine tailings (CERATAIL)].
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 292526
Detailed Information: 292526 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2018. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license