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Natural fluorapatite dissolution kinetics and Mn2+ and Cr3+ metal removal from sulfate fluids at 35 °C

Vandeginste, Veerle; Cowan, Charlotte; Gomes, Rachel L.; Hassan, Tharwat; Titman, Jeremy


Veerle Vandeginste

Charlotte Cowan

Professor of Water & Resource Processing

Tharwat Hassan


In light of the consequences of global warming and population growth, access to safe drinking water becomes an ever greater challenge, in particular in low to middle income countries in arid regions. Moreover, mining which may cause acid mine drainage and heavy metal contamination puts further pressure on management of limited water resources. Hence, the development of cost effective water treatment methods is critical. Here, using batch reactor experiments we investigate the kinetics and mechanisms behind divalent Mn and trivalent Cr removal from sulfate fluids using natural fluorapatite at 35 °C. The results show that the fluorapatite dissolution rate depends on fluid pH, and that dissolution is the dominant mechanism in fluids with pH below 4. Apatite can thus serve as remediation to neutralize acidic fluids. Fluid pH of 4–6 triggers a dissolution-precipitation mechanism, in some cases following upon a dissolution-only period, with the formation of a metal phosphate. In these experiments, Cr removal is two to ten times faster than Mn removal given similar solution pH. The results demonstrate that natural apatite represents a promising, cost effective material for use in passive remediation of mining-induced contamination of soils and groundwater in arid regions.


Vandeginste, V., Cowan, C., Gomes, R. L., Hassan, T., & Titman, J. (2020). Natural fluorapatite dissolution kinetics and Mn2+ and Cr3+ metal removal from sulfate fluids at 35 °C. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 389, Article 122150.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 20, 2020
Online Publication Date Jan 20, 2020
Publication Date May 5, 2020
Deposit Date Jan 23, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jan 23, 2020
Journal Journal of Hazardous Materials
Print ISSN 0304-3894
Electronic ISSN 1873-3336
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 389
Article Number 122150
Keywords Environmental Engineering; Waste Management and Disposal; Pollution; Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis; Environmental Chemistry
Public URL
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