PIMS Using Apatite II™: How it Works to Remediate Soil and Water

Publication Information:

Wright, Ph.D., Judith, James L. Conca, Ph.D. and Brian Murphy, PIMS Using Apatite II™: How it Works to Remediate Soil and Water, Sustainable Range Management-2004. Proceedings of the Conference on Sustainable Range Management, January 5-8, 2004, New Orleans

Year: 2004

Topics: EH&S, Energy & Utilities, Mining & Minerals

Phosphate-Induced Metal Stabilization (PIMS™) using Apatite II™ stabilizes a wide range of metals, especially Pb, U, Cd, Zn, Cu and Al, in situ or ex situ, by chemically binding them into new phosphate minerals and other low-solubility phases that are stable over geologic time. The excellent stabilization efficiency comes from the extremely low solubility products (Ksp) of the resultant metal-apatites, e.g., for Pb–apatite (pyromorphite) Ksp ~ 10 (Nriagu, 1984; Ruby et al., 1994) to Ksp ~ 10-167 (Manecki et al., 2000). Combined with this thermodynamic stability, the rapid kinetics of the metal-phosphate precipitation and adsorption ensures immobilization of metals in the face of most transport mechanisms. Depending upon the metal, the concentration of the metal and the aqueous chemistry of the system, Apatite II works by four general, non-mutually-exclusive processes. This technology has been successful with contaminated range soils, groundwaters and wastewaters for Pb, U, Cd, Zn, Al and Cu, and has stabilized between 5% and 50% of its weight in metals depending upon the metal and the environmental conditions. Costs for range soil remediation are $20-$30/yd3 (see accompanying paper in this volume, Wright et al., 2004) and costs for water remediation are $40 per 1,000,000 gallons of water per mg/L of metal.