A New Method (Ball Milling and Sodium Sulfide) for Mechanochemical Treatment of Soda Ash Chromite Ore Processing Residue

Yan Sun, Yaguang Du, Jirong Lan, Wei Zhan, Tian C. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hexavalent chromium in soda ash Chromite Ore Processing Residue (COPR) is harmful to the environment, it is imperative to develop a low cost, efficient, and effective treatment. Herein, a new method (ball milling + sodium sulfide) was developed for mechanochemical treatment of water-leached COPR (W-COPR, about 900 mg/kg non-exchangeble Cr(VI) and mostly chromite bounded). Under a stoichiometric ratio of S2- to Cr(VI) of 5, milling speed of 200 rpm, milling time of 30 min, ball-to-powder weight ratios of 8.5, and, a total Cr(VI) of 76.88 mg/kg and a Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) total Cr value of 1.15 mg/L were achieved after treatment. Results of the mineral liberation analyser (MLA) analyses showed 10% increase of chromite grains liberation and grain size reduction were beneficial to the chromite-bound Cr(VI) reduction. Similar effects were also observed on magnesioferrite encapsulated Cr(VI). Particle aggregation and formation of glass phase colloid precipitation could potentially impede Cr(VI) reduction. Results of X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) analyses indicated that the treatment method reduced the actual Cr(VI) concentration to 312 mg/kg with Cr(VI) reduction efficiency of 98% being achieved. Overall, the new method is simple and efficient, and provides a guidance for future industrial application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125601
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - Aug 5 2021


  • Ball milling
  • Chromite ore processing residue
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Sodium sulfide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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