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Closed Access item Formation of metacinnabar by milling of liquid mercury and elemental sulfur for long term mercury storage

Authors:López Gómez, Félix Antonio
López-Delgado, Aurora
Padilla, Isabel
Tayibi, Hanan
Alguacil, Francisco José
Keywords:Formation of metacinnabar, Liquid mercury
Issue Date:2010
Citation:The Science of the Total Environment 408 (20) : 4341-4345 (2010)
Abstract:In this paper we present the results of the formation of black HgS (metacinnabar) from liquid mercury and elemental sulfur using the mechanical energy provided by a ball mill in different conditions. Metacinnabar formation was observed even after short milling times (15 min) and unreacted liquid mercury was no longer detected after 60 min of milling. The reaction mechanism was monitored with a scanning electron microscope. The impact and friction forces of milling on the Hg and S mixture resulted in the formation of metacinnabar by reducing the size of mercury drops, giving rise to microspheres, and lowering the surface tension to allow sulfur grains to become adhered at the reaction interface. After 60 min of milling, the metacinnabar formation reaction was observed to be more than 99.99% complete, yielding a Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure value of 3.1 microg/L Hg. The reaction product thus complies with the limits of the most stringent Universal Treatment Standard requirements, which allow a maximum TCLP concentration of 25 microg/L.
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.07.008
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