Date of Award

4-1-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Dr. W. Crawford Elliott - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Eirik Jens Krogstad - Committee Member

Third Advisor

Dr. Seth E. Rose - Committee Member

Abstract

Calcite stalactites ranging in length from several inches to a foot long are found forming on the southeastern slag pile at the former Gadsden Steel Mill of the Gulf States Steel Corporation. Analyses of samples collected per EISOPQAM guidelines include the following: petrographic, conductivity, pH, XRD, XRF, TDS, and major cations and anions. Preliminary field pH and conductivity measurements indicate that waters near the slag pile have a pH ranging from 11-12 and a conductivity ranging from 1115-6300 μS/ cm. Titration data indicate that the maximum pH value is 12.5. These calcite stalactites and stream coatings result from the dissolution of the steelmaking slag by rainfall. These alkaline waters precipitate calcite when they are in contact with atmospheric CO2. Improper management of slag products can lead to aesthetically impacted environments and ecosystems. Several studies and this study show that steel slag could be used to sequester atmospheric CO2.

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