Temperature-driven variation in the removal of heavy metals from contaminated tailings leaching in northern Norway

  • Shuai FuEmail author
  • Jinmei Lu


High amounts of tailings with a low recycling rate are generated during mining and smelting processes, and a lot of environmental problems were caused by heavy metal leaching from tailings. Temperature is a key point in heavy metals leaching, and knowing the effects of temperature on tailings leaching is useful for tailings management. A small-scale batch leaching experiment was conducted at different temperatures to test temperature-driven heavy metal leaching from tailings in the arctic area. The variation in the leaching of heavy metals from tailings was investigated by a small-scale batch leaching experiment. Results showed that 10 °C is a threshold temperature for the leaching activity of the tested elements. Fe, Cr, and Cu are significantly correlated with temperature in the leaching. Leaching rates of Cr, Cu, and Ni increase as temperature rises. Leaching rates of Cr, Cu, Ni, V, and Zn change by a polynomial model with temperatures, whereas that of Fe changes with a linear model. V shows an antagonistic relationship with Cu, Fe, and Ni in the leaching. However, Cu, Cr, Ni, and Fe show a synergistic relationship. Discovering the threshold temperature of leaching tailings in the arctic area and concluding the influence factors and the relationship between heavy metals leaching and temperature are useful for tailings management.


Tailings Heavy metals Leaching Temperature Arctic 


Authors’ contributions

Shuai Fu and Jinmei Lu: conception and design, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article, and revised and approved the manuscript.

Funding information

This study was financially supported by the MIN-NORTH project funded by Interreg Nord Program: Development, Evaluation and Optimization of Measures to Reduce the Impact on the Environment from Mining Activities in Northern Regions; China’s Post-doctoral Science Foundation (2017M612161), Jiangxi postdoctoral research project (2017KY05).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Tourism and Urban ManagementJiangxi University of Finance and EconomicsNanchangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Engineering and SafetyUiT—the Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Environment and Resource Utilization, Ministry of Education, School of Resources Environmental and Chemical EngineeringNanchang UniversityNanchangPeople’s Republic of China

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