The long-term stability of calcium arsenates: Implications for phase transformation and arsenic mobilization

Danni Zhang , Shaofeng Wang , Ying Wang , Mario A. Gomez , Yongfeng Jia


Received February 04, 2019,Revised , Accepted April 17, 2019, Available online April 25, 2019

Volume 31,2019,Pages 29-41

It is well known that calcium arsenates may not be a good choice for arsenic removal and immobilization in hydrometallurgical practices. However, they are still produced at some plants in the world due to various reasons. Furthermore, calcium arsenates can also naturally precipitate under some specific environments. However, the transformation process of poorly crystalline calcium arsenates (PCCA) and the stability of these samples under atmospheric CO2 are not yet well understood. This work investigated the transformation process of PCCA produced by using different neutralization reagents (CaO vs. NaOH) with various Ca/As molar ratios at pH 7–12 in the presence of atmospheric CO2. After aging at room temperature for a period of time, for samples neutralized with NaOH and precipitated at pH 10 and 12, release of arsenic back into the liquid phase occurred. In contrast, for the samples precipitated at pH 8, the aqueous concentration of arsenic was observed to decrease. XRD, Raman, and SEM results suggested that the formation of various types of crystalline calcium carbonates and/or calcium arsenates controls the arsenic behavior. Moreover, the application of lime may enhance the stability of the generated PCCA. However, no matter what neutralization reagent is used, the stability of the generated PCCA is still of concern.

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