Mining activities in Chile have generated large amounts of solid waste, which have been deposited in mine tailing impoundments. These impoundments cause concern to the communities due to dam failures or natural leaching to groundwater and rivers.This work shows the laboratory results of nine electrodialytic remediation experiments on copper mine tailings. The results show that electric current could remove copper from watery tailing if the potential gradient was higher than 2V/cm during 21 days. With addition of sulphuric acid, the process was enhanced because the pH decreased to around 4, and the copper by this reason was released in the solution. Furthermore, with acidic tailing the potential gradient was less than 2V/cm.The maximum copper removal reached in the anode side was 53% with addition of sulphuric acid in 21 days experiment at 20V using approximately 1.8kg mine tailing on dry basis. In addition, experiments with acidic tailing show that the copper removal is proportional with time.
Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2005, Vol 117, Issue 2-3, p. 179-183
; Copper removal; Ton exchange membranes; Electrodialysis; Mine tailing impoundments; Electric field