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(searched for: doi:10.3390/min10121092)
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Published: 15 February 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
A suite of sulfate minerals from the Monte Arsiccio mine (Apuan Alps, Northern Tuscany, Italy), previously identified by using both X-ray diffraction and micro-Raman spectroscopy, was studied through inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), in order to determine their trace-element content. Several elements (Tl, Rb, As, Sb, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, and Cr) were found above the detection limits. Among them, some are important from an environmental perspective and may reach relatively high concentrations (e.g., Tl = 1370–2988 μg/g; As = 505–1680 μg/g). Thus, these sulfates may act as transient sinks for some of these potentially toxic elements, as well as for sulfate ions and acidity. Indeed, dissolution experiments revealed the ability of these secondary minerals to produce a significant pH decrease of the solutions, as well as the release of Fe, Al, and K as major ions. This work discusses the relation between the budget of trace elements and the crystal chemistry of sulfate minerals and provides new insights about the environmental role played by the sulfate dissolution in controlling the quality of water in acid mine drainage systems.
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