Rapid oxidation of sulfide mine tailings by reaction with potassium ferrate

Mohamed Murshed, David A. Rockstraw, Adrian T. Hanson, Michael Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The chemistry of sulfide mine tailings treated with potassium ferrate (K2FeO4) in aqueous slurry has been investigated. The reaction system is believed to parallel a geochemical oxidation in which ferrate ion replaces oxygen. This chemical system utilized in a pipeline (as a plug flow reactor) may have application eliminating the potential for tailings to leach acid while recovering the metal from the tailings. Elemental analyses were performed using an ICP spectrometer for the aqueous phase extract of the treated tailings; and an SEM-EDX for the tailing solids. Solids were analyzed before and after treatments were applied. ICP shows that as the mass ratio of ferrate ion to tailings increases, the concentration of metals in the extract solution increases; while EDX indicates a corresponding decrease in sulfur content of the tailing solids. The extraction of metal and reduction in sulfide content is significant. The kinetic timeframe is on the order of minutes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2003

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Acid mine drainage
  • Ferrate
  • Oxidation
  • Sulfide
  • Tailings


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