University of Oulu

Priyadharshini Perumal, He Niu, Jenni Kiventerä, Paivo Kinnunen, Mirja Illikainen, Upcycling of mechanically treated silicate mine tailings as alkali activated binders, Minerals Engineering, Volume 158, 2020, 106587, ISSN 0892-6875,

Upcycling of mechanically treated silicate mine tailings as alkali activated binders

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Author: Perumal, Priyadharshini1; Niu, He1; Kiventerä, Jenni1;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Technology, Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, PO Box 4300, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-09-08


Mining activity is inevitable in human societies, and thus, disposal of mining waste in a proper and effective way is crucial to preserving our environment. In this context, studies on the reuse potential for mine tailings in the construction sector are booming. However, utilizing tailings as binder material is complicated due to the high variation in mineralogical composition and the low reactivity of these materials. In this study, an attempt was made to understand the effect of mechanical treatment on silicate mine tailings in order to improve their properties for use as a sole precursor in alkali-activated binders. Two different silicate tailings from Finland were studied: one rich in tremolite, which is high in magnesium (HM tailings) and one rich in anorthite and epidote, which is high in aluminum (HA tailings). Interestingly, grinding activity performed at different durations affected the properties of the tailings with various intensities, including their mineralogical and physical properties and characteristics and, thus the reactivity of tailings. Tremolite does not respond to milling for longer durations, and layered anorthite was easily distorted by the mechanical disturbance. Irrespective of the type of tailings, the compressive strength of alkali-activated milled tailings increased with an increase in grinding time from 1 to 16 min. However, the percentage of compressive strength increase varied with the type of tailings and their mineralogy.

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Series: Minerals engineering
ISSN: 0892-6875
ISSN-E: 1872-9444
ISSN-L: 0892-6875
Volume: 158
Article number: 106587
DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2020.106587
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 212 Civil and construction engineering
218 Environmental engineering
Funding: The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support received from the project GEOMINS [grant #319676: Steps towards the use of mine tailings in geopolymer materials: reactivity, CO2 sequestration and heavy metal stabilization], CERATAIL [grant #292526: Novel synthesis methods for porous ceramic from mine tailings] funded by Academy of Finland and European Union’s EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 [Grant Agreement No 812580 (“SULTAN”,].
EU Grant Number: (812580) SULTAN - European Training Network for the remediation and reprocessing of sulfidic mining waste sites
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 319676
Detailed Information: 319676 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
292526 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (