JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, vol.258, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
The purpose of this research is to examine the neutralization performances of CaO-rich industrial waste products (IWPs) in the sulphide-rich environment of cemented paste backfill (CPB). A total of 205 CPB samples were prepared by using four different IWPs (type-C fly ash (C-FA), blast furnace slag (BFS), calcitic limestone (CL) and dolomitic limestone (DL)) as 5, 10 and 15 wt% substitute for sulphide-rich tailings. These CPB samples were cured and subjected to the acid (pH) and sulphate (SO42-) tests during 7-360 days of curing periods. MIP and XRD tests were also carried out to understand the generation of acid and sulphate and their effect on CPB stability at 28 and 180 days. The findings indicated that the utilisation of IWPs in CPB mixtures mitigated the acid (up to 58.9% higher pH values) and sulphate (up to 72.1% lower SO42- ion release) production, and enhanced the microstructure (12.43% lower total porosity) of CPBs owing to the neutralization potential, pore-filling effect, pozzolanic and partially binding characteristics of IWPs. It can be inferred from these findings that the IWPs can be suitably utilised as neutralization materials in CPB of sulphide-rich tailings. This in turn allows the mitigation of potential disposal/pollution problems associated with these IWPs.