Mitigation of mine tailings dust with green biopolymer

Rui Chen, Lianyang Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Mine tailings (MT) dust is a major environmental concern. Many efforts have been attempted to mitigate MT dust, but all have limitations. The present study investigates the feasibility of utilizing two natural and renewable biopolymers, guar gum and xanthan gum, for MT dust mitigation. Moisture retention tests were performed to evaluate the water retention capacity of MT samples treated with guar gum and xanthan gum solutions at different concentrations. Wind tunnel tests were conducted to investigate the weight loss of biopolymer-treated MT samples after blowing wind for certain period of time. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging was also performed to investigate the microstructure of biopolymer-treated MT. The results indicate that the two biopolymers are effective in increasing the moisture-retention capacity and improving the dust resistance of MT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeo-Congress 2014 Technical Papers
Subtitle of host publicationGeo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability - Proceedings of the 2014 Congress
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages8
Edition234 GSP
ISBN (Print)9780784413272
StatePublished - 2014
Event2014 Congress on Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability, Geo-Congress 2014 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Feb 23 2014Feb 26 2014

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
Number234 GSP
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


Other2014 Congress on Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability, Geo-Congress 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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