Effect of drying treatment on the leachability of metallic elements from weathered solid mine wastes

Hyunwoo Bang, Juhee Kim, Kyungmin Kim, Seunghun Hyun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Leaching of toxic metallic elements (Cu, Zn, As, Cd, and Pb) from two solid mine wastes was characterized under different drying treatments. During 14 batch decant-refill leaching steps, samples were intermittently dried four times in 40 °C oven or −20 °C freezer. For all leachates, the pH, pE, Fe2+/Fe3+, and SO42− were analyzed. The parameters of the two-site model (kfast, kslow, and ffast) and labile fractions (F1 + F2) were determined. High levels of toxic metallic elements were determined in waste samples; however, their leaching was limited, as evidenced by the magnitudes of F1 + F2, ffast, and kslow. Leachate solutions were acidic, at pH 3–4, and oxic, at 150 mV < Eh 300 < mV, thus having negligible Fe2+. Leachate concentrations of toxic metallic elements increased (4–58%) after drying at 40 °C and were strongly correlated (r2 = 0.780) with those of sulfate in liquid phase. The mass of element elution was in the order of 40 °C drying > −20 °C drying ≥ continuous wetting. Results indicate that the element leachability is increased through drying events and the leachate concentration is associated with the dissolution reaction of sulfur-bearing minerals. Frequent occurrence of prolonged droughts along with high temperatures over the mine waste disposal site, can enhance the leaching potential of toxic metallic elements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126111
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant ( NRF-2017R1D1A1B04029194 ) and also in part supported by a Korea University Grant.


  • Abandoned mine
  • Labile fraction
  • Metallic elements
  • Mine leachate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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