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Modelling the leaching of Pb, Cd, As, and Cr from cementitious waste using PHREEQC

Journal of Hazardous Materials
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2005.05.046
  • Cementitious Waste
  • Phreeqc
  • Geochemical Modelling
  • Lead
  • Cadmium
  • Arsenic
  • Chromium
  • Municipal Landfill
  • Leachate
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Physics


Abstract A leaching model was developed using the United States Geological Survey public domain PHREEQC geochemical package to simulate the leaching of Pb, Cd, As, and Cr from cementitious wastes. The model utilises both kinetic terms and equilibrium thermodynamics of key compounds and provides information on leachate and precipitate speciation. The model was able to predict the leaching of Pb, Cd, As, and Cr from cement in the presence of both simple (0.1 and 0.6 M acetic acid) and complex municipal landfill leachates. Heavy metal complexation by the municipal landfill leachate was accounted for by the introduction of a monoprotic organic species into the model. The model indicated Pb and As were predominantly incorporated within the calcium silicate hydrate matrix while a greater portion of Cd was seen to exist as discrete particles in the cement pores and Cr (VI) existed mostly as free CrO 4 2− ions. Precipitation was found to be the dominant mechanism controlling heavy metal solubility with carbonate and silicate species governing the solubility of Pb and carbonate, silicate and hydroxide species governing the solubility of Cd. In the presence of acetic acid, at low pH values Pb and Cd acetate complexes were predominant whereas, at high pH values, hydroxide species dominated. At high pH values, the concentration of As in the leachate was governed by the solubility of Ca 3(AsO 4) 2 with the presence of carbonate alkalinity competing with arsenate for Ca ions. In the presence of municipal landfill leachate, Pb and Cd organic complexes dominated the heavy metal species in solution. The reduction of As and Cr in municipal landfill leachate was crucial for determining aqueous speciation, with typical municipal landfill conditions providing the reduced forms of As and Cr.

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