Nanoparticles from evaporite materials in Colombian coal mine drainages

Luis F.O. Silva, James C. Hower, Guilherme L. Dotto, Marcos L.S. Oliveira, Andrea L. Moreno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Ultrathin and nanometric materials (minerals and amorphous phases) are detected in transitory deposits of potential hazardous elements (PHEs), especially in acidic coal mine drainages. The main goal of this work was to evaluate the occurrence of PHEs in nanoparticles (NPs) in evaporative structures in coal mining areas with high concentrations of PHEs. The precipitates were sampled in several coal mining areas in Colombia, with the purpose of evaluating the geochemical and environmental structures. In the present work, to better diagnose areas affected by coal mining, an innovative analytical procedure is proposed to define the association between PHEs in mine drainage sediments. The procedure includes the analytical study with X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and advanced electron microscopy, before and after a series of sequential extractions to separate amorphous, magnetic, and crystalline compounds. Of the three main types of precipitates identified, the yellowish precipitates had the highest amounts of PHEs while the white precipitates had only small amounts of PHEs and the greenish precipitates contained TiO2 nanoparticles. The results from this study will be usable for more than fifty countries that have coal mine drainages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103588
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Geology
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
All persons who have made substantial contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (e.g. technical help, writing and editing assistance, general support), but who do not meet the criteria for authorship, are named in the Acknowledgements. We thank the CNPq.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Coal drainages
  • Environmental contamination
  • Massive minerals precipitation
  • River sediments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Stratigraphy


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