Coal-fired power facilities generate a polymetallic effluent (Flue Gas Desulfurization—FGD) rich in sulfate. FGD effluents may be considered an important secondary resource. This paper investigates the recovery of sulfate as barite (BaSO4
), a mineral with high commercial value and a critical raw material. Using equimolar BaCl2
, >99% desulfurization of an FGD effluent produced by a coal-fired power plant operating in central Poland was achieved, yielding up to 16.5 kg high purity barite m−3
. The recovered barite was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric (TGA), scanning electron microscopy analysis (SEM), surface properties (PZC), density, and chemical stability (TCLP), and was compared with a commercial reference material. Barite recovery also led to the reduction in concentration of Al (86%), Cu (52%), K (69%), Mo (62%), Se (40%), Sr (91%), and U (75%) initially present in the FGD effluent. TCLP results indicate the entrapment and the stabilization of ~70% Se and ~90% Al in the barite structure. Based on this dataset, an in-depth characterization of the recovered barite is presented, and the removal mechanism of the elements is discussed. The study also provides a preliminary cost benefit analysis of the process. To our best knowledge, this is the first work showing barite recovery and metal removal from FGD effluents using a one-step process.
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