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Open AccessArticle

Mining Rock Wastes for Water Treatment: Potential Reuse of Fe- and Mn-Rich Materials for Arsenic Removal

1
Water Research Institute, National Research Council of Italy (IRSA-CNR), Via Salaria km 29.300, Monterotondo, 00015 Rome, Italy
2
Institute of Atmospheric Pollution, Italian National Research Council (IIA-CNR), Via Salaria km 29.300, Monterotondo, 00015 Rome, Italy
3
Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering, Italian National Research Council (IGAG-CNR), Via Salaria km 29.300, Monterotondo, 00015 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(9), 1897; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091897
Received: 30 July 2019 / Revised: 21 August 2019 / Accepted: 28 August 2019 / Published: 11 September 2019
The worldwide mining industry produces millions of tons of rock wastes, raising a considerable burden for managing both economic and environmental issues. The possible reuse of Fe/Mn-rich materials for arsenic removal in water filtration units, along with rock properties, was evaluated. By characterizing and testing 47 samples collected from the Joda West Iron and Manganese Mine in India, we found As removal up to 50.1% at 1 mg/L initial As concentration, with a corresponding adsorption capacity of 0.01–0.46 mgAs/g mining waste. The As removal potential was strictly related to spectral, mineralogical, and elemental composition of rock wastes. Unlike rock crystallinity due to quartz and muscovite, the presence of hematite, goethite, and kaolinite, in association with the amorphous fractions of Fe and Al, enhanced the As adsorption. The natural content of arsenic indicated itself the presence of active sorptive sites. The co-occurrence of site-specific competitors (i.e., phosphate) represented a consequent limitation, whereas the content of Ce, Cu, La, and Pb contributed positively to the As adsorption. Finally, we proposed a simplified multiple linear model as predictive tool to select promising rock wastes suitable for As removal by water filtration in similar mining environments: As predicted = 0.241 + 0.00929[As] + 0.000424[La] + 0.000139[Pb] − 0.00022[P].
Keywords: mining wastes; iron and manganese minerals; water filtration; arsenic adsorption mining wastes; iron and manganese minerals; water filtration; arsenic adsorption
MDPI and ACS Style

Casentini, B.; Lazzazzara, M.; Amalfitano, S.; Salvatori, R.; Guglietta, D.; Passeri, D.; Belardi, G.; Trapasso, F. Mining Rock Wastes for Water Treatment: Potential Reuse of Fe- and Mn-Rich Materials for Arsenic Removal. Water 2019, 11, 1897.

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