During the zinc production process from sulfidic ores, the jarosite residue is produced within the precipitate containing ammonia, iron, zinc and other metal sulfates. The process yield jarosite which has been dumped as a waste despite its acidity presents environmental hazard while high content of iron, zinc, lead, cadmium and other heavy metal compounds additionally presents further utilization possibilities. In this paper, the thermal decomposition of jarosite tailing waste collected in Mitrovica Industrial Park situated in Kosovo is investigated in order to get better understanding of its possible utilization as a source of valuable raw materials. Samples of jarosite tailing waste were taken at depths of 0.2, 1 and 2 m. The samples were characterized by means of powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (SEM/EDS), thermogravimetric analysis (TG) and differential thermal analysis (DTA). The results obtained from XRD confirmed the presence of ammonium jarosite in the investigated tailing waste samples. Results of TG–DTA indicated that the decomposition of jarosite samples occurs in four consecutive stages up to the temperature of 500 °C. On behalf of SEM/EDS analysis, jarosite samples yield poorly defined micron-sized morphology associated with high content of Fe and S, but also Pb, Cd, Zn and As. Composition of jarosite tailing waste was found depth dependent which should facilitate jarosite waste reuse at the investigated site.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Swayze GA, Desborough GA, Smith KS, Lowers HA, Hammarstrom JM, Diehl SF. Understanding contaminants associated with mineral deposits. US Geol Surv Circ. 2008;1328:8–13.
Katsioti M, Tsakiridis PE, Leonardou-Agatzini S, Oustadakis P. Examination of the jarosite-alunite precipitate addition in the raw meal for the production of sulfoaluminate cement clinker. J Hazard Mater. 2006;131:187–94.
Gordon RB, Graedel TE, Bertram M, Fuse K, Lifset R, Rechberger H, Spatari S. The characterization of technological zinc cycles. Spat Resour Conserv Recycl. 2003;39:107–35.
Jha VM, Kumar K, Singh RJ. Review of hydrometallurgical recovery of zinc from industrial wastes. Resour Conserv Recycl. 2001;33:1–22.
Frost R, Wills RA, Kloprogge Th, Martens W. Thermal decomposition of ammonium jarosite (NH4)Fe3(SO4)2(OH)6. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2006;84:489–96.
Drouet Ch, Navrotsky A. Synthesis, characterization, and thermochemistry of K-Na-H3O jarosites. Geochim Cosmochim Acta. 2002;11:2063–76.
Pappu A, Saxena M, Asolekar ShR. Jarosite characteristics and its utilization potentials. Sci Total Environ. 2005;359:232–43.
Pappu A, Mohini S, Shyam A. Hazardous jarosite use in developing non-hazardous product for engineering application. J Hazard Mater. 2006;137:1589–99.
Roca A, Patino F, Rivera I, Hernandez L, Perez M, Salinas E, Reyes M. Decomposition and cyanidation kinetics of the argentian ammonium jarosite in NaOH media. J Mex Chem Soc. 2007;51:47–54.
Basciano LC, Peterson RC. The crystal structure of ammoniojarosite, (NH4)Fe3(SO4)2(OH)6 and the crystal chemistry of the ammoniojarosite–hydronium jarosite solid-solution series. Miner Mag. 2007;71:427–41.
Basciano LC, Peterson RC. Crystal chemistry of the natrojarosite-jarosite and natrojarosite-hydronium, jarosite solid-solution: a synthetic study with full Fe site occupancy. Am Miner. 2008;93:853–62.
Lakshman SV, Dreizin EL, Schoenitz M. Evaluation of K-H3O jarosite as thermal witness material. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2014;117:141–9.
Pulisova P, Masa B, Michalkova E, Vecernıkova E, Marıkova M, Bezdicka P, Murafa N, Subrt J. Thermal behaviour of natural and synthetic iron precipitates from mine drainage. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2014;116:625–32.
Drouet Ch, Baron D, Navrotsky A. On the thermochemistry of the solid solution between jarosite and its chromate analog. Am Miner. 2003;88:1949–54.
Frost R, Wills RA, Weier ML, Martens W. Thermal decomposition of synthetic argentojarosite—implications for silver production in medieval times. Thermochim Acta. 2005;437:30–3.
Forraya FL, Smith AML, Drouet C, Navrotskya A, Wright K, Hudson-Edwards KA, Dubbin WE. Synthesis, characterization and thermochemistry of a Pb-jarosite. Geochim Cosmochim Acta. 2010;74:215–24.
Frost RL, Palmer SJ, Kristof J, Horva E. Thermoanalytical studies of silver and lead jarosites and their solid solutions. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2010;101:73–9.
Lakshman SV, Mohan S, Dreizin EL, Schoenitz M. Kinetics of thermal decomposition of a synthetic K-H3O jarosite analog. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2014;115:609–20.
Kato T. The crystal structures of jarosite and svanbergite. Mineral J. 1977;8:419–30.
Pelino M. Recycling of zinc hydrometallurgy wastes in glass and glass ceramic materials. Waste Manag. 2000;20:561–8.
Frost R, Locke A, Wain D, Martinez-Frias J, Martens WN, Rull F. Thermal decomposition and X-ray diffraction of sulphate efflorescent minerals from El Jaroso Ravine, Sierra Almagrera, Spain. Thermochim Acta. 2006;460:9–14.
Dutrizac JE, Chen TT. Synthesis and properties of V3+ analogues of jarosite- group minerals. Can Miner. 2003;41:479–88.
Dutrizac JE, Jambor JL. Jarosites and their application to hydrometallurgy. Rev Miner Geochem. 2000;40:405–52.
Kerolli-Mustafa M, Fajković H, Rončević S, Ćurković L. Assessment of metals risks from different depths of jarosite tailing waste of Trepça Zinc Industry, Kosovo based on BCR procedure. J Geochem Explor. 2015;148:161–8.
HRN EN 12457–4. Croatian Standard on waste characterization. 2015.
ASTM D. 4239-11 Standard test method for sulphur in the analysis sample of coal and coke using high-temperature tube furnace combustion, Am Soc Test Mater SAD. 2011.
Sasaki K, Haga T, Hirajima T, Kurosowa T, Tsunekawa M. Distribution and transition of heavy metal in mine tailing damps. Mater Trans. 2011;43:2778–83.
Ristić M, Musić S, Orehovec Z. Thermal decomposition of synthetic ammonium jarosite. J Mol Struct. 2005;744:295–300.
Kerolli-Mustafa M, Bačić I, Ćurković L. Investigation of Jarosite process tailing waste by means of Raman and infrared spectroscopy. Mater wiss Werkst. 2013;4:768–73.
Das GK, Anand S, Das RP. Jarosites: a review. Miner Process Extr Metall. 1996;16:185–210.
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Kerolli-Mustafa, M., Mandić, V., Ćurković, L. et al. Investigation of thermal decomposition of jarosite tailing waste. J Therm Anal Calorim 123, 421–430 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10973-015-4881-9
- Thermal analysis