Reagent elution combined with positive pressure filtration: A zero-discharge method for cyanide tailings remediation

Jiyan Shi , Qiang Liu , Yating Luo


Received April 24, 2021,Revised , Accepted June 24, 2021, Available online July 10, 2021

Volume 34,2022,Pages 376-384

At present, the cyanide gold extraction process is still the main technology for gold production. Generated cyanide tailings containing highly toxic substances exhibit potential environmental risks. These tailings are in urgent need of purification treatment, especially after being classified as hazardous waste. In this study, the impacts of elution methods, operating time, tailings/water ratios, reagent types on the elution rates of cyanide were investigated. Furthermore, the composite elution method developed in this research was extended for engineering. Results showed that the optimum elution conditions were determined to be: stirring elution, tailings/water ratio (M/V; 1:1) and operating time (10-20 min). Besides, 4 reagents (sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate, cyclodextrin, sodium silicate and calcium hydroxide) were selected from four categories of 21 reagents for further composite elution. The cyanide elution rate was the highest (90.7%±0.1%) while the molar ratio of these 4 reagents was 5:2:2:1. Moreover, the combination of reagent elution and positive pressure filtration improved the elution efficiency of cyanide (92.6%±0.8%). And the cyanide content in the toxic leaching solution was lower than the standard value (5.0 mg/L). Furthermore, the composite elution method developed in this study was also extended for engineering. The concentration of cyanide in the leachate was < 5.0 mg/L, and was stable during 189 days of detection. Notably, the effluent can be reused directly, or reused after further treatment. The zero discharge of effluents and solid wastes was realized in the processes. The above results provided supports for the engineering treatment of cyanide tailings.

Copyright © Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press. All rights reserved.京ICP备05002858号-3