Leachability of major and trace elements from sediment and soil samples of an abandoned coal mining area in southern Brazil was assessed by titration and pH-stat tests according to the SR002.1 and CEN/TS 14429 protocols. Major (Al, Fe, Ca, Mg, and Mn) and trace (Cu, Zn, As, Ni, Pb, Cd, and Hg) elements were quantified in aqueous extracts. Acid and base neutralizing capacity values and pH changes after the addition of certain acid/base amounts were estimated. In general, a decrease in the major metal leaching at pH < 4.0 and an increase at pH > 8.0 was observed. The response to the acid and base additions confirmed that strong acids can cause an effect on Ca- and Mg-bearing silicate phases and Mn oxides, and strong bases can only affect Ca silicates. At pH < 5.0, higher extractability was found for Cu, Zn, Ni, Pb, and Cd. Considering that the samples showed sharp pH changes after acid additions and released major and trace metal into the solution at greater rates, high metal contamination risks can be assumed for the studied area.
- Acid mine drainage
- Acid-base neutralizing capacity
- Metal leaching
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law