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An assessment of factors affecting pyrite reactivity.
Schuman-G; Caruccio-FT; Bradham-WS
USBM 1991 Jan; :1-87
Variations in pyrite reactivity are known to exist within samples collected from different areas. Using samples collected from acid and nonacid sites, the relationship between the factors affecting pyrite oxidation and observed variations in pyrite reactivity was studied. Heavy liquid separations were used to extract the pyrite from nine pulverized rock, coal, and coal refuse samples. Simulated weathering tests were used to determine the degree of reactivity of the extracted pyritic material. Representative portions of each pyritic sample were analyzed for whole rock composition (including pyritic sulfur and neutralization potential), for elemental composition, and by x-ray diffractometry. The samples were also examined with reflected-light microscopy to ascertain pyrite morphology distributions. Tests for the presence of iron-oxidizing bacteria were all negative, indicating that the leaching tests were conducted under abiotic conditions. The results of the simulated weathering tests permitted the partitioning of the samples into two groups based on positive or negative neutralization potential (NP) values. Determinations were then made to evaluate the degree to which a variety of factors, including temperature, partial pressure of oxygen and water, and crystallography, affected pyrite reactivity.
Analytical-processes; Iron-compounds; Reaction rates; Oxidation
CP; Final Contract Report
NTIS Accession No.
U.S. Bureau of Mines
WA; PA; SC
University of South Carolina
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