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The influence of reducing conditions on the dissolution of a Mn-rich slag from pyrometallurgical recycling of alkaline batteries

Pareuil, Priscilla, Hamdoun, Hakim, Bordas, François, Joussein, Emmanuel, Bollinger, Jean-Claude
Journal of environmental management 2011 v.92 no.1 pp. 102-111
chemical composition, leachates, monitoring, oxides, recycling, redox potential, risk assessment, silicates, slags, sodium
The redox potential (Eh) is a key parameter for controlling the release of elements from solid materials. Nevertheless, this parameter is seldom taken into account during risk assessment studies within any regulatory framework. We studied the incidence of redox changes to the solid materials using two batch procedures: i) a gradient of redox conditions obtained using sodium ascorbate solutions at various concentrations; ii) N₂ bubbling in water. These experiments were performed on two Mn-rich slag samples coming from a pyrometallurgical plant that recycles alkaline batteries. Both samples differed slightly in their chemical composition and solid characterization (i.e. presence of Mn oxide) and presented different behaviours. The present study focused on the release of the main slag elements (i.e. Mn and Si) chosen as indicators of the dissolution of primary silicate phases. Solid phase analyses (SEM-EDS and XRD) were coupled with the monitoring of elements in leachates in order to understand their behaviour and the mechanisms involved. The results indicated that the solid composition plays an important role in the release mechanisms. The presence of Mn oxide enhanced the mobilization of Mn in the greatest reducing conditions (−320 ± 5 mV/SHE), to the extent that 42% of the total Mn was leached. This demonstrated the significance in studying the solid phases (using SEM-EDS and XRD) before and after any leaching experiment. From a laboratory practice point of view, it was easier to use sodium ascorbate and allowed, in our case, greater reducing conditions to be reached.