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Environ Sci Technol. 2006 Sep 1;40(17):5520-6.

Nickel stabilization efficiency of aluminate and ferrite spinels and their leaching behavior.

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  • 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-4020, USA.


Stabilization efficiencies of spinel-based construction ceramics incorporating simulated nickel-laden waste sludge were evaluated and the leaching behavior of products investigated. To simulate the process of immobilization, nickel oxide was mixed alternatively with gamma-alumina, kaolinite, and hematite. These tailoring precursors are commonly used to prepare construction ceramics in the building industry. After sintering from 600 to 1480 degrees C at 3 h, the nickel aluminate spinel (NiAl204) and the nickel ferrite spinel (NiFe204) crystallized with the ferrite spinel formation commencing about 200-300 degrees C lower than for the aluminate spinel. All the precursors showed high nickel incorporation efficiencies when sintered at temperatures greater than 1250 degrees C. Prolonged leach tests (up to 26 days) of product phases were carried out using a pH 2.9 acetic acid solution, and the spinel products were invariably superior to nickel oxide for immobilization over longer leaching periods. The leaching behavior of NiAl2O4 was consistent with congruent dissolution without significant reprecipitation, but for NiFe2O4, ferric hydroxide precipitation was evident. The major leaching reaction of sintered kaolinite-based products was the dissolution of cristobalite rather than NiAl2O4. This study demonstrated the feasibility of transforming nickel-laden sludge into spinel phases with the use of readily available and inexpensive ceramic raw materials, and the successful reduction of metal mobility under acidic environments.

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