Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 23, pp 22977–22997 | Cite as

Use of hydraulic binders for reducing sulphate leaching: application to gypsiferous soil sampled in Ile-de-France region (France)

  • Vincent TrincalEmail author
  • Vincent Thiéry
  • Yannick Mamindy-Pajany
  • Stephen Hillier
Research Article


Polluted soils are a serious environmental risk worldwide and consist of millions of tons of mineral waste to be treated. In order to ensure their sustainable management, various remediation options must be considered. Hydraulic binder treatment is one option that may allow a stabilisation of pollution and thus offer a valorisation as secondary raw materials rather than considering them as waste. In this study, we focused on sulphate-polluted soil and tested the effectiveness of several experimental hydraulic binders. The aim was to transform gypsum into ettringite, a much less soluble sulphate, and therefore to restrict the potential for sulphate pollutant release. The environmental assessment of five formulations using hydraulic binders was compared to the gypsiferous soil before treatment (contaminated in sulphate). The approach was to combine leaching tests with mineralogical quantifications using among others thermogravimetric and XRD methods. In the original soil and in the five formulations, leaching tests indicate sulphate release above environmental standards. However, hydraulic binders promote ettringite formation, as well as a gypsum content reduction as observed by SEM. The stabilisation of sulphates is, however, insufficient, probably as a result of the very high content of gypsum in the unusual soil used. The mineralogical reactions highlighted during the hydration of hydraulic binders are promising; they could pave the way for the development of new industrial mixtures that would have a positive environmental impact by allowing reuse of soils that would otherwise be classified as waste.


Sulphate leaching Gypsiferous soils Mineralogical quantifications Sulphoaluminate ALPENAT® binder SEM observations 



Authors thank Johanna Caboche, Damien Betrancourt and Dominique Dubois, from the GCE department (Douai), for their contribution to mineralogical and chemical analyses; Phillipe Hauza from Colas Company for initiating this research theme and providing the soil and mixture 1 samples; and Vicat Company for the ALPENAT® and Carrières du Boulonnais Company for the FAC.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_2376_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
ESM 1 RIR method. (DOCX 16 kb)
11356_2018_2376_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (25 kb)
ESM 2 Details of RIR calculations. Peaks intensities for gypsum, quartz and corundum were reported as net area. (XLSX 24 kb)
11356_2018_2376_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (38 kb)
ESM 3 EDS analyses in weight percent and in atom percent. Ca/S and Ca/Al ratios were calculated for mineral determination using atom percent data. Locations of points are reported in Figs. 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. (XLSX 38 kb)
11356_2018_2376_MOESM4_ESM.docx (87 kb)
ESM 4 (DOCX 86 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent Trincal
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Vincent Thiéry
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yannick Mamindy-Pajany
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stephen Hillier
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut Mines-Télécom Lille DouaiLGCgE-GCEDouaiFrance
  2. 2.Université Lille Nord de FranceLilleFrance
  3. 3.The James Hutton InstituteAberdeenUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.Department of Soil and EnvironmentSwedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)SE-UppsalaSweden

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