University of Oulu

Jinmei Lu, Ingar Walder, Tiina Leiviskä; Impact of temperature on the leaching of sulphate, Co, Fe, Mn, Ni and Zn from the Ballangen tailings deposit, Norway: a laboratory column experiment. Journal of Water and Climate Change 1 December 2021; 12 (8): 3558–3572. doi:

Impact of temperature on the leaching of sulphate, Co, Fe, Mn, Ni and Zn from the Ballangen tailings deposit, Norway : a laboratory column experiment

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Author: Lu, Jinmei1; Walder, Ingar2; Leiviskä, Tiina3
Organizations: 1Department of Technology and Safety, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway
2Kjeøy Research and Education Center, Vestbygd, Norway
3Chemical Process Engineering, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: IWA Publishing, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-05


Temperature is an important factor affecting the leaching of contaminants from waste deposits, especially in the Nordic region where temperature change is more drastic than other areas. In this study, the impact of temperature variation in the leaching of sulphate, Co, Fe, Mn, Ni and Zn from the Ballangen tailings deposit, northern Norway, was investigated using a column leaching experiment. Unoxidized tailings were fed into four columns, which were subsequently put into four wine fridges set at 5, 10, 14 and 18 °C, respectively. The columns were filled with 600 ml of deionized water from the top every second week. Leachate was collected at the bottom and tested for pH, conductivity and concentrations of SO²⁻₄, Co, Fe, Mn, Ni and Zn. The saturation index for ferrihydrite and the activity of Fe²⁺ in the leachate were calculated with PHREEQC. The results showed that the conductivity and leachate concentrations of SO²⁺₄, Co, Fe, Mn and Ni were highest at 14 and 18 °C, and lowest at 5 °C, which showed high tailings oxidation and subsequent leaching of contaminants at higher temperatures. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic (XPS) analysis of the residual material confirmed the oxidation of sulphides and leaching of many elements. Ferrihydrite was supersaturated in the leachate from the 14 and 18 °C columns, which showed the oxidation of pyrrhotite and olivine and the precipitation of ferrihydrite. The cumulative mass of Zn leached out was highest at 10 °C, which might be the threshold temperature for the leaching of Zn.

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Series: Journal of water and climate change
ISSN: 2040-2244
ISSN-E: 2408-9354
ISSN-L: 2040-2244
Volume: 12
Issue: 8
Pages: 3558 - 3572
DOI: 10.2166/wcc.2021.058
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
218 Environmental engineering
Funding: The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support by the MIN-NORTH project funded by the Interreg Nord Program: Development, Evaluation and Optimization of Measures to Reduce the Impact on the Environment from Mining Activities in Northern Regions.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0), which permits copying, adaptation and redistribution, provided the original work is properly cited (