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Alkaline industrial wastes Characteristics, environmental risks, and potential for mine waste management


Moyo, A and Parbhakar-Fox, AK and Meffre, S and Cooke, DR, Alkaline industrial wastes - Characteristics, environmental risks, and potential for mine waste management, Environmental Pollution, 323 Article 121292. ISSN 0269-7491 (2023) [Refereed Article]

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2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This article is an open access article under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, (

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2023.121292


The large quantities of alkaline industrial wastes that are generated globally have the potential to be valorized in various applications instead of being landfilled. This study evaluated the potential reuse of green liquor dregs (GLD), wood ashes, coal ash, red mud, mussel, scallop, and oyster shells to control acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD). Low hydraulic conductivities (10−7 to 10−9 m/min) suggest that covers constructed from fine-grained GLD, red mud, coal ash and wood fly ash can limit the formation of AMD. Static and kinetic test leachates of pH 5.8 to 10.6 indicate that the tested materials can neutralize acidic drainage and immobilize metal(loid)s by precipitation. The alkalinity is proportional to the amount and reactivity of carbonate and hydroxide fractions with red mud followed by coal ash being the most alkaline over 100 weeks and wood ashes the least. The tested industrial wastes generate leachates with a low metal(loid) risk when screened against the Australian freshwater guidelines. However, oxyanions including Al, Cr, Cu, Se, and V were leached in deleterious concentrations ≤100 times more than the guidelines because of their mobility in alkaline conditions. The outcomes of this study highlighted that alkaline industrial wastes can be potentially used in the long-term remediation of AMD as part of an environmentally sustainable and cost-effective integrated mine waste management strategy.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Alkaline industrial waste, metal(loid), AMD, Sustainability, Valorization, Remediation
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Resource geoscience
Objective Division:Mineral Resources (Excl. Energy Resources)
Objective Group:Environmentally sustainable mineral resource activities
Objective Field:Management of solid waste from mineral resource activities
UTAS Author:Moyo, A (Miss Annah Moyo)
UTAS Author:Parbhakar-Fox, AK (Dr Anita Parbhakar-Fox)
UTAS Author:Meffre, S (Professor Sebastien Meffre)
UTAS Author:Cooke, DR (Professor David Cooke)
ID Code:155541
Year Published:2023
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (IH130200004)
Deposited By:CODES ARC
Deposited On:2023-02-28
Last Modified:2023-03-16
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