Application of Oxidation-Reduction Potential and pH To Investigate a Ferric Oxide Waste Disposal Pond and a Lead Processing Waste Site
Description:The U.S. Bureau of Mines investigated the application of oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) and pH measurements to environmental studies of mining and mineral processing wastes, and developed a computer program to estimate the concentrations of species of lead present in samples from a lead processing waste site. The methods and techniques for the ORP-pH measurements were investigated using known standard solutions made in the laboratory, samples from a ferric oxide waste disposal pond at a rutile production plant, and samples of well water and stream water from the lead processing waste site. ORP values were measured from 5 to 80 °C, from pH 1 to pH 12, and at various ratios of oxidant to reductant. The ORP-pH values can help identify valence values and species of ions present, including those of major, minor, and trace concentrations, and also indicate possible reactions at various pH values. The ORP measurements versus temperature yield data from which thermodynamic values can be calculated. The application and limitations of these measurements are discussed, and a brief discussion of the computational program to identify species of lead is presented.
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