Increasing the sustainability of the stabilization-solidification of potentially toxic elements contained in tailings from an active mine using a modified lime mortar
Keywords: 
Materias Investigacion::Química
Solidification/stabilization
Mine tailings
Lime mortar
Encapsulation
Arsenic
Lead
Pozzolanic reaction
Issue Date: 
2024
Publisher: 
MDPI
Project: 
info:eu-repo/grantAgreementAEI/Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2017-2020/PID2020-119975RB-I00/ES/NUEVOS MORTEROS DE CAL CON ADITIVOS Y MATERIALES MICROENCAPSULADOS DE CAMBIO DE FASE PARA MEJORAR LA EFICIENCIA ENERGETICA Y CONFORT TERMICO DEL PATRIMONIO ARQUITECTONICO
ISSN: 
2071-1050
Note: 
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license
Citation: 
González-Sánchez JF, Fernández-Villagómez G, Loredo Jasso AU, Fernández JM, Navarro-Blasco I, Alvarez JI. Increasing the sustainability of the stabilization-solidification of potentially toxic elements contained in tailings from an active mine using a modified lime mortar. Sustainability, 2024, 292: 126069,1-17
Abstract
The use of a modified lime mortar as a binder for the stabilization/solidification of mine tailings presents a promising and sustainable solution for immobilizing potentially toxic elements found in these waste materials compared to cement mortars. The effectiveness of this modified lime mortar in avoiding the mobility of toxic elements, namely lead (Pb) and arsenic (As), in mine tailings has been thus studied. Encapsulating matrices of 1:1 and 2:1 tailings waste/air lime ratios were prepared. Due to the content of potentially pozzolanic compounds in the mine tailings, mainly some silicate phases, 1:1 matrices showed better mechanical strength than 2:1 samples, ascribed to a more intense pozzolanic reaction. SEM observations identified needle-shaped C-S-H structures. The hardened materials showed good endurance against freeze–thaw cycles. The semi-dynamic tank test demonstrated the effective encapsulation of the toxic components due to the use of lime mortars, yielding values of released Pb and As below the detection limit in all instances. Considering the cost-effectiveness, widespread availability, and ease of use, the use of modified lime mortar for the treatment of mine tailings can be recommended to mitigate the environmental impacts of mining activities.

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