Two-way Valorization of Blast Furnace Slag: Synthesis of Precipitated Calcium Carbonate and Zeolitic Heavy Metal Adsorbent

Georgakopoulos, Evangelos
Santos, Rafael M
Chiang, Yi Wai
Manovic, Vasilije
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Journal of Visualized Experiments

The aim of this work is to present a zero-waste process for storing CO2 in a stable and benign mineral form while producing zeolitic minerals with sufficient heavy metal adsorption capacity. To this end, blast furnace slag, a residue from iron-making, is utilized as the starting material. Calcium is selectively extracted from the slag by leaching with acetic acid (2 M CH3COOH) as the extraction agent. The filtered leachate is subsequently physico-chemically purified and then carbonated to form precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) of high purity (<2 wt% non-calcium impurities, according to ICP-MS analysis). Sodium hydroxide is added to neutralize the regenerated acetate. The morphological properties of the resulting calcitic PCC are tuned for its potential application as a filler in papermaking. In parallel, the residual solids from the extraction stage are subjected to hydrothermal conversion in a caustic solution (2 M NaOH) that leads to the predominant formation of a particular zeolitic mineral phase (detected by XRD), namely analcime (NaAlSi2O6∙H2O). Based on its ability to adsorb Ni2+, as reported from batch adsorption experiments and ICP-OES analysis, this product can potentially be used in wastewater treatment or for environmental remediation applications.

Blast furnace slag, waste valorization, CO2 utilization, mineral carbonation, hydrothermal conversion, heavy metal adsorption, precipitated calcium carbonate, zeolite