Minerals 2013, 3(4), 427-449; doi:10.3390/min3040427
Article

Mineralogical Study of a Biologically-Based Treatment System That Removes Arsenic, Zinc and Copper from Landfill Leachate

1email, 2email and 1,* email
Received: 20 October 2013; in revised form: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 5 December 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Microbes and Minerals)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Mineralogical characterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and a high throughput automated quantitative evaluation of minerals by scanning electron microscopy (QEMSCAN) was conducted on samples from a sulphate-reducing biochemical reactor (BCR) treating high concentrations of metals (As, Zn, Cu) in smelter waste landfill seepage. The samples were also subjected to energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis of specific particles. The bulk analysis results revealed that the samples consisted mainly of silicate and carbonate minerals. More detailed phase analysis indicated four different classes: zinc-arsenic sulphosalts/sulphates, zinc-arsenic oxides, zinc phosphates and zinc-lead sulphosalts/sulphates. This suggests that sulphates and sulphides are the predominant types of Zn and As minerals formed in the BCR. Sphalerite (ZnS) was a common mineral observed in many of the samples. In addition, X-ray point analysis showed evidence of As and Zn coating around feldspar and amphibole particles. The presence of arsenic-zinc-iron, with or without cadmium particles, indicated arsenopyrite minerals. Copper-iron-sulphide particles suggested chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and tennantite (Cu,Fe)12As4S13. Microbial communities found in each sample were correlated with metal content to describe taxonomic groups associated with high-metal samples. The research results highlight mineral grains that were present or formed at the site that might be the predominant forms of immobilized arsenic, zinc and copper.
Keywords: arsenic; zinc; copper; biochemical reactor; geomicrobiology; biomineralization; QEMSCAN; mining
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MDPI and ACS Style

Khoshnoodi, M.; Dipple, G.; Baldwin, S.A. Mineralogical Study of a Biologically-Based Treatment System That Removes Arsenic, Zinc and Copper from Landfill Leachate. Minerals 2013, 3, 427-449.

AMA Style

Khoshnoodi M, Dipple G, Baldwin SA. Mineralogical Study of a Biologically-Based Treatment System That Removes Arsenic, Zinc and Copper from Landfill Leachate. Minerals. 2013; 3(4):427-449.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Khoshnoodi, Maryam; Dipple, Gregory; Baldwin, Susan A. 2013. "Mineralogical Study of a Biologically-Based Treatment System That Removes Arsenic, Zinc and Copper from Landfill Leachate." Minerals 3, no. 4: 427-449.


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