Thermo-mechanical properties and microfabric of fly ash-stabilized gold tailings

Joon Kyu Lee, Julie Q. Shang, Sangseom Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies the changes in thermal conductivity, temperature, and unconfined compressive strength of gold tailings and fly ash mixtures during the curing period of 5 days. The microfabric of the cured mixtures was investigated with mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP). The mixture samples were prepared at their maximum dry unit weight and optimum moisture content. Effect of adding fly ash to gold tailings (i.e., 0, 20, and 40% of the dry weight of tailings) was examined, and a comparison was made on samples prepared at the same fly ash content by replacing gold tailings with humic acid (i.e., gold tailings and humic acid ratios of 100:0, 90:10, and 80:20 by weight) or by varying pore fluid chemistry (i.e., water and salt solutions of 1M NaCl and CaCl2). The results show that the initial thermal conductivity of the samples is sensitive to the mixture proportion and a declination in the thermal conductivity is observed due to hydration of fly ash and evaporation. Inclusion of fly ash and salts into gold tailings improves the unconfined compressive strength but the presence of humic acid in samples leads to the decrease of the strength. MIP results reveal the pore structure changes associated with the packing states of the samples that reflect the influential factors considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work was supported by the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada ( NSERC ) and the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada . The authors also acknowledge the financial support of the National Research Foundation of Korea (Grant Nos. 2013R1A6A3A01023199 and 2011-0030040 ).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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