Mechanism of Arsenic Release from Minerals and its Mitigation

IJEP 42(9): 1126-1132 : Vol. 42 Issue. 9 (September 2022)

Ghazal Hashmi and A.R. Quaff*

National Institute of Technology, Department of Civil Engineering, Patna – 800 005, Bihar, India


Prevention of leaching of arsenic in groundwater can be effectively done by controlling the discharge from its source minerals. The design of effective methodology for source control requires in-depth knowledge about behaviour of arsenic and its minerals in groundwater and the interactions between other metals under different circumstances. In this study, determination of mechanisms of arsenic leaching, a series of leaching experiments using arsenic sulphide minerals, that is orpiment and realgar was performed at various parameters. Results from the experiment revealed that arsenic leaching increased with leaching time, dissolved oxygen and ferrous concentration and at optimum Fe (II) level, maximum value of arsenic concentration was obtained. The analysis indicates that arsenic is first released from orpiment and realgar as arsenite (III) via the primary reactions. Arsenite (III) is consequently oxidized to arsenate (V), the rate of which increases with dissolved oxygen concentration as more Fe (II) is oxidized to Fe (III). Given this, it is suggested that the oxidative dissolution of iron oxide is the dominant mechanism of arsenic release from minerals into groundwater. Based on the result obtained, a remediate method for effective control of leaching of arsenic from minerals was determined.


Arsenic, Mobilization, Groundwater, Remediation, Orpiment, Realgar


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