Environmental Pollution in the Vicinity of a Waste-Gypsum Landfill
The manufacture of wet phosphoric acid from apatite gives rise to solid and semi-solid wastes (waste gypsum, sodium fluosilicate and wastewater sludges) which should be classified as hazardous wastes and disposed of accordingly.
Both groups of wastes contain calcium sulphate hemihydrate and dihydrate, sodium fluosilicate, sodium sulphate, calcium sulphate, calcium fluoride, sodium fluoride, phosphoric acid and sulphuric acid. Rare elements (yttrium and lanthanide series) are the most valuable compounds of waste gypsum.
In Poland, the landfills where those wastes are disposed of meet neither legislative regulations nor technological and environmental requirements. This practice brings about serious soil and groundwater contamination in the landfill vicinity.
Thus remedial and preventive measures should be taken immediately to abate present and future damage. Two ways to go are suggested. One of these a long-term option - consists in the processing of waste gypsum toward recovery of rare elements and production of building gypsum. The other one - a short-term option - aims at modifying the technology of landfill operation and taking current preventive measures (compacting the waste materials, covering the landfill slopes with an inert material) so as to minimize top dust blowing, as well as surface water runoff or infiltration.
KeywordsWaste Material Calcium Sulphate Landfill Site Rare Element Water Retention Capacity
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