Characterization of Pyrite-Bearing Materials by Chemical Oxidation

Mirza, Abbas H. ; Doyle, Fiona M. ; Herrera, Miguel N.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1992
The standard test methods used to determine the pyrite content of coal and mineral wastes, and their propensity to release acidic drainage, are critically reviewed. In addition to analysis of total sulfur by combustion, test methods using selective oxidation of pyrite by HNO3 and H2O2 are available. The oxidation kinetics of pyrite vary appreciably from sample to sample, and it is difficult to ascertain whether complete dissolution has occurred in heterogeneous materials. The reliability, reproducibility and suitability of different standard test methods were studied, using well characterized ore and coal pyrite samples. The kinetics of pyrite dissolution were also investigated. The results are discussed in terms of the fundamental chemical and physical characteristics of each sample, and the implications for waste characterization are considered.
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