Study of Zn-Pb ore tailings and their potential in cement technology


This paper describes the synthesis of sulfobelite clinkers incorporating mining rejects. The targeted Zn-Pb tailing wastes generated in the diapiric zone (NW Tunisia) were tested in clinker/cement compositions to ensure the inertization of existing hazardous heavy metals. Mineralogical composition of the two selected samples revealed calcite, dolomite, quartz, kaolinite, galena, pyrite and gypsum as crystalline phases. Vertical distributions of dominant heavy metals (Pb, Zn and Cu) in soil profiles show enrichment in the surface layers and decrease towards the depth. In sintered clinkers powders, the presence of the targeted crystalline phases (trialuminate sulphate (C4A3S), belite (C2S), and ferrite (C4AF)) are in the predicted desirable amounts. Heat flow generated during the hydration of different cement pastes showed a slower reaction for clinkers with higher amounts of C(4)A(3)S or constituted by coarser particles. After 28 days curing, the best mechanical resistance (24.34 MPa under compression) was obtained for the clinker calcined at 1350 degrees C and showing a suitable particle size distribution. Concerning heavy metals, immobilisation of 75-85% of Pb, Zn and Cu was assessed in the mortars formulated with the produced clinker/cement, posing no hazardous risks to the environment. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



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Nouairi, J; Hajjaji, W; Costa, CS; Senff, L; Patinha, C; da Silva, EF; Labrincha, JA; Rocha, F; Medhioub, M

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We would like to acknowledge the revision conducted by the editor and the referees. This work was supported by UID/GEO/04035/2013 project and the Tunisian Belgium Wallonie-Bruxelles International WBI Research Project "Valorisation des Argiles tunisiennes". We thank R.C. Pullar for English review.

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