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ArticleName Problems of potash tailings pile remediation
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2019.05.18
ArticleAuthor Khairulina E. A., Kudryashova O. S., Novoselova L. V.

Perm State National Research University, Perm, Russia:

E. A. Khairulina, Leading Researcher, Natural Science Institute, Candidate of Geographical Sciences,
O. S. Kudryashova, Professor, Doctor of Chemical Sciences
L. V. Novoselova, Head of Laboratory, Doctor of Biological Sciences


This paper analyzes international experience in potash tailing piles remediation. Two directions of remediation are determined. In the first case, the measures are aimed to isolate waste from leaching; in the second case, to stimulate dissolution processes followed by interception of contaminated groundwater. Based on long-term studies of natural and anthropogenic salinization in the territory of Upper Kama potash deposit, various types of remediation activities are analyzed. The authors propose integrated measures to reduce the environmental impact of halite waste. The first stage is to reduce water permeability of the base of potash tailing piles using the method of plugging rocks by directed crystallization of water-soluble and water-insoluble salts. We propose a solution containing calcium, potassium and sodium chlorides. The introduction of specially selected precipitant to this solution will lead to the crystallization of insoluble calcium salt. The second stage includes technical reclamation and greening. Technical reclamation is carried out with construction debris accumulated at the towns of Berezniki and Solikamsk. The layer of construction waste will provide slopes suitable for remediation activities and will be a buffer for capillary movement of salts. Greening should appreciably improve state of the nature in the areas affected by potash industry. We suppose that the main requirements for the plants are high phytoproductivity, extensive root system and high evapotranspiration rate. From among grassland vegetation, it is suggested to use ground reedgrass, English bluegrass, spear saltbush, oak-leaved goosefoot, honey clover and blue lattice. Shrub and tree layers could be presented by birch, willow and aspen trees. These species are found in saline ecosystems near the studied piles, and are resistant to low agrochemical parameters and alkaline soil. The vegetation cover should to reduce seepage of atmospheric precipitations through potash tailings piles and, thus, scale down flows of highly mineralized drain water.
The study has been supported by the Ministry of Education and Sciences of the Russian Federation, Contracts Nos. 4.5947.2017/6.7 and 5.6881.2017/8.9.

keywords Potash tailing piles, remediation, water-insoluble calcium salts, greening, construction debris

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