ENVIRONMENTAL MINERALOGY

Second cycle degree in LAND AND ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Ord. 2017)

Campus: PADOVA

Language: English

Teaching period: Second Semester

Lecturer: GILBERTO ARTIOLI

Number of ECTS credits allocated: 8


Syllabus
Prerequisites: Basic chemistry and chemical thermodynamics. Essentials of mineralogy and geology.
Examination methods: (1) mid-term presentation on an analytical technique selected by the teacher. The student will summarize: (a) the fundamentals of the technique, (b) the instrumental configuration, (c) the resulting information, (d) describe one application with environmental implications.

(2) The student will deliver a final presentation on a topic with environmental implications agreed with the teacher. The student will present: (a) the scientific problem, (b) the data available in the literature, with critical discussion, (c) the prospected actions for a better definition or solution of the problem.
Course unit contents: Natural solid materials: basic concepts of mineralogy and crystal-chemistry.
Natural processes. Introduction on the distribution of the chemical elements on the Earth’s crust, on the geological processes, on the geochemical cycles. Processes and fluid-solid interactions at the mineral surfaces. Experimental techniques to study materials surfaces.
Case studies:
(1) Hazardous minerals in nature and in working places:
asbestos, free silica. Environmental monitoring, assessment, mineral quantification, disposal.
(2) Microporous materials and inclusion compounds: clays, zeolites, clathrates, gas hydrates. Crystal structure, crystal chemistry, absorption properties, ionic exchange properties, catalysis. Their use in environmental, agricultural, and industrial applications.
(3) Mineral dust. Origin, characterization. Implications for the palaeoclimatic and environmental reconstructions of the investigations of mineral dust entrapped in polar ice and ocean sediments.
(4) Metals and the environment. Dispersion and re-mobilization of toxic elements during mineral deposits exploitation and industrial transformation of raw resources. Acid mine drainage. The case of arsenic dispersion: inorganic vs bio-controlled processes.
(5) Binders and cements. Their use in history and in present societies as building materials. Environmental applications in solidification and inertization processes of wastes and polluted soils.
(6) Rare Earth Elements. REE cycle and natural resources. Their role in technological products, recovery from e-waste.