Froth Flotation, as a Remediation Process, Applicable to the Treatment of High Mercury Solid Waste

Rudiger Burkhard Richter, Reagan Kabogozza


The aim of this study was to create a basis for a reliable, efficient and economic process for the treatment of high mercury solid mineral waste, applicable particularly for soil from former chlorine alkali electrolysis plants and acetaldehyde factories but also for various sorts of mercury-containing sludge such as commonly generated from the oil and gas industry. Alongside the removal of mercury from the contaminated soil by using Sodium Dimethyldithiocarbamate (SDMC) as an oxidation agent and Potassium Amylxanthate as a flotation collector and complexation agent. The process also uses the advantage that Hg2+ reacts with xanthates to create very stable and water insoluble square-planar complexes. Consequently, both the “cleaned” mercury-lean fraction (tailings) and even the mercury-enriched effluent represent finally, a leach-stable material capable for safe and environmentally friendly disposal.

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