Małgorzata Śliwka, Waldemar Kępys, Małgorzata Pawul
AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Poland
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Rapid technological development in the second half of the 20th century has led to the production of large amounts of waste, which have been collected for years in landfills. The municipal solid waste deposited in landfills and waste from the mining and metallurgical industries constitutes a major environmental problem, but on the other hand these types of waste serve as a reservoir of raw materials, therefore, they are becoming more and more popular as a source of raw materials. Obtaining raw materials from landfills of waste requires technological operations, mainly known from open cast mining, and the application of processing technologies. As a result of landfill mining metal concentrates, construction materials or fuel are obtained; on the other hand often post-processing waste can be formed, which should be utilized, to reduce their nuisance to the environment.
Depending on their physicochemical properties, they can be used, e.g. in construction, road engineering, mining or land reclamation.
This paper presents research on the possibilities of using post-flotation waste from zinc and lead ores, deposited in old repositories, for land reclamation after waste re-flotation. For this purpose, the physical and chemical properties of waste were examined, such as: grain composition, chemical composition, content of radioactive isotopes and leaching. To determine the ecotoxicity of the investigated wastes, vegetative experiments were carried out. These studies allowed the assessment of the impact of the tested wastes on selected test plant species. Among other things, the impact of waste on such physiological processes as germination of seeds and the growth of plants (roots and above-ground parts) were in-vestigated. Despite relatively high metal concentration levels in waste and a high leachability of sulphate ions, a small dose of waste, which will be added to soil will stimulate plant growth. It was found, that the addition of waste to the sub-strate in quantities of 10-30% have accelerated germination of plants compared to control objects. In the case of higher waste content (over 30%) germination inhibition was observed. Similar reactions were observed for both test plant spe-cies. It was found that it is possible to select such a dose of waste for release to the ground, which will stimulate plant development. So, there is a possibility of using the tested waste to produce material (substrate) for natural land reclama-tion. The natural use of industrial waste can substantially contribute to solving the problem of the negative impact of deposited waste on natural environment.
ore processing waste, post-flotation waste, reclamation, raw material recovery, phytotoxicity, waste utilisation