Lead contamination is a critical environmental concern. Present remediation technology includes land filling, soil washing, vitrification, stabilization, storage and/or capping, and rare instances of recycling to a secondary lead smelter. In many instances the specific lead-bearing species are never identified. Due to the large number of sites to be evaluated and/or cleaned up, accurate, inexpensive, and relatively quick identification of lead species is needed. Complete characterization is essential in gaining valuable information which can guide development of the remediation techniques. Several lead-contaminated samples have been characterized with all lead phases identified and quantified. These samples consist of battery breaker soil, lead mill gravity tailings, lead mill flotation tailings, and naturally occurring lead mineral phases for use as standards. Classical methods including light microscopy, electron microscopy, and x-ray diffraction are used in conjunction with chemical analysis for these identifications. These study methods are enhanced by innovative staining which helps to differentiate the minerals cerrusite (pbco3) and anglesite (pbso4). Additional phases identified are lead oxides, pbs, metallic pb, and several lead-iron intermediate phases.
Proc 2nd Int'l Conf Env. Issues & Mgmt of Waste in Energy & Min. Prod., Balkema, V 1,