Experimental evaluation of PM emission from red mud basins exposed to wind erosion
AbstractThe disposal of industrial and mineral processing residues represents a major concern for human health and the environment as a whole. In order to reduce the impact on soil and groundwater due to the waste leachability, the implementation of environmental regulations worldwide has favored the conversion of the disposal techniques from wet to dry (i.e., dry stacking or dry disposal). Such a change in the storage practice may cause the increase of particulate matter (PM) emission from the dry surfaces of the tailings exposed to wind erosion. Considering the significance of the environmental issue on a global scale and the increasingly stricter orientation of environmental policies, the need for modeling tools capable of estimating the contribution of tailing basins to air pollution becomes apparent. The paper deals with the disposal of red mud resulting from the bauxite processing in the alumina industry. An experimental research was carried with an environmental wind tunnel to estimate the Emission Factor (EF) of the basin surfaces as a function of the main affecting variables (i.e., residue water content and wind velocity). The article reports the results of the experimental test carried out on the red mud from a major basin located in Sardinia (Italy).
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