Mixing of Rotary Kiln Fines with Fine-Grained Acid-Producing Rock

Lapakko, Kim A. ; Antonson, David A. ; Wagner, Jon R.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
This study examined the potential of mixing rotary kiln fines (RK fines), a waste product generated when limestone is converted to lime (CaO), with acid producing mine waste to provide 1) short-term mitigation by neutralizing acid produced by iron sulfide oxidation and 2) long-term mitigation by facilitating the passivation of iron sulfide mineral surfaces. Five loadings of RK fines were mixed with 75 g of Duluth Complex rock to produce neutralization potential (NP) added: acid potential (AP) quotients of 0,0.11,0.22,0.66 and 1.1. The mixtures were subjected to wet-dry cycling laboratory testing for 585 weeks. The rock alone produced acidic drainage, with pH decreasing below 4 after about 20 weeks of reaction and ultimately reaching the approximate range of 3.3 to 3.5; sulfate release did not decrease over time. The RK fines elevated pH and inhibited sulfate release for time periods which increased with the mass of RK fines present. The pH of drainage from the 0.11 quotient (NP added1AP) loading decreased below 6.0 after 75 weeks of dissolution and decreased to 3.6 after 117 weeks, at which time the reactor was terminated. The duplicate 0.22 quotient loadings of RK fines decreased below 6.0 after 95 and 170 weeks. The former was terminated after 117 weeks, and the latter reached a minimum pH of 2.8 after 512 weeks. Drainage pH from the 0.66 quotient decreased below 6 after 581 weeks. For the drainages which acidified, the cumulative calcium release prior to pH decreasing below 6.0 was 92 to 103 percent of that initially present as calcium carbonateloxide in the RK fines. The pH of drainage from the 1.1 quotient typically remained above 8.0 throughout the period of record. Sulfate concentrations in the drainages decreased while the neutralizing fraction of the RK fines was present, but increased after this fraction was depleted.
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