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Open Access Advances and Gaps in the Knowledge of Thermodynamics and Crystallography of Acid Mine Drainage Sulfate Minerals

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Acidic and metal-rich waters produced by sulfide decomposition at mining sites are termed acid mine drainage (AMD). They precipitate a number of minerals, very often sulfates. The recent advances in thermodynamic properties and crystallography of these sulfates are reviewed here. There is a reasonable amount of data for the divalent (Mg, Ni, Co, Fe2+, Cu, Zn) sulfates and these data may be combined with and optimized by temperature-relative humidity brackets available in the literature. For the sulfates with Fe3+, most data exist for jarosite; for other minerals and phases in this system, a few calorimetric studies were reported. No data whatsoever are available for the Fe2+-Fe3+ sulfates. A significant advance is the development of the Pitzer model for Fe3+-sulfate solutions and its confrontation with the available thermodynamic and solubility data. In summary, our knowledge about the thermodynamic properties of the AMD sulfates is unsatisfactory and fragmented.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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