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Minerals 2014, 4(2), 330-344; doi:10.3390/min4020330

Characterization of Green Liquor Dregs, Potentially Useful for Prevention of the Formation of Acid Rock Drainage

1
Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, SE-97187 Luleå, Sweden
2
Ramböll Sverige AB, Kyrkogatan 2, Box 850, SE-97126 Luleå, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 February 2014 / Revised: 14 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 22 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mine Waste Characterization, Management and Remediation)
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Abstract

Using alternative materials such as residual products from other industries to mitigate the negative effects of acid rock drainage would simultaneously solve two environmental problems. The main residual product still landfilled by sulphate paper mills is the alkaline material green liquor dregs (GLD). A physical, mineralogical and chemical characterization of four batches of GLD was carried out to evaluate the potential to use it as a sealing layer in the construction of dry covers on sulphide-bearing mine waste. GLD has relatively low hydraulic conductivity (10−8 to 10−9 m/s), a high water retention capacity (WRC) and small particle size. Whilst the chemical and mineralogical composition varied between the different batches, these variations were not reflected in properties such as hydraulic conductivity and WRC. Due to relatively low trace element concentrations, leaching of contaminants from the GLD is not a concern for the environment. However, GLD is a sticky material, difficult to apply on mine waste deposits and the shear strength is insufficient for engineering applications. Therefore, improving the mechanical properties is necessary. In addition, GLD has a high buffering capacity indicating that it could act as an alkaline barrier. Once engineering technicalities have been overcome, the long-term effectiveness of GLD should be studied, especially the effect of aging and how the sealing layer would be engineered in respect to topography and climatic conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: green liquor dregs; acid rock drainage; sulphidic mine waste; sealing layer green liquor dregs; acid rock drainage; sulphidic mine waste; sealing layer
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mäkitalo, M.; Maurice, C.; Jia, Y.; Öhlander, B. Characterization of Green Liquor Dregs, Potentially Useful for Prevention of the Formation of Acid Rock Drainage. Minerals 2014, 4, 330-344.

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