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Electrodialytic remediation of copper mine tailings using bipolar electrodes

Authors
Journal
Journal of Hazardous Materials
0304-3894
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
168
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.02.166
Keywords
  • Electroremediation
  • Electrodialysis
  • Electric Field
  • Copper Mine Tailings
  • Bipolar Electrodes
Disciplines
  • Chemistry
  • Design

Abstract

Abstract In this work an electrodialytic remediation (EDR) cell for copper mine tailings with bipolar stainless steel plates was analyzed. The bipolar plates were inserted inside the tailings, dividing it into independent electrochemical cells or sections, in order to increase the copper removal efficiency from mine tailings. The bipolar plates design was tested on acidic copper mine tailings with a fixed: applied electric field, liquid content, initial pH, and remediation time. The laboratory results showed that inserting bipolar plates in EDR cells improves the remediation action, even though the applied electric field is reduced by the electrochemical reactions on the plates. Basically three aspects favor the process: reduction of the ionic migration pathways, increase of the electrode surface, and in-situ generation of protons (H +) and hydroxyls (OH −). Furthermore, the laboratory results with citric acid addition significantly improve the remediation actions, reaching copper removal of up to nine times better, compared to conventional EDR experiments without any plates or citric acid addition.

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