Rafael Pérez-López

Rafael Pérez-López
Universidad de Huelva | UHU · Departamento de Geología

Ph.D. Environmental Geochemistry

About

125
Publications
17,854
Reads
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3,345
Citations
Citations since 2016
54 Research Items
2306 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Additional affiliations
February 2012 - present
Universidad de Huelva
Position
  • Contratado Ramón y Cajal

Publications

Publications (125)
Article
This works investigates the origin, behavior and fate of Tl in acid mine drainage (AMD) affected areas at catchment scale, following the path from rocks to the ocean. To address this issue, comprehensive data set of Tl in rocks, waters, secondary minerals, plants and other environmental compartments is presented, using the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW S...
Article
Full-text available
Schwertmannite is a common nanomineral in acid sulfate environments such as Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and Acid Sulfate Soils (ASS). Its high surface area and positively charged surface result in a strong affinity towards toxic oxyanions such as arsenate in solution. However, natural precipitation of schwertmannite also involves the accumulation of o...
Article
This study investigates the behavior of Tl in the Ría de Huelva (SW Spain), one of the most metal polluted estuaries in the world. Dissolved Tl concentration displayed a general decrease across the estuary during the dry season (DS); from 5.0 to 0.34 μg/L in the Tinto and Odiel estuaries, respectively, to 0.02 μg/L in the channel where the rivers j...
Article
A phosphogypsum stack located in SW Spain releases highly acidic and contaminated leachates to the surrounding estuarine environment. Column experiments, based on a mixture of an alkaline reagent (i.e., MgO or Ca(OH)2) dispersed in an inert matrix (dispersed alkaline substrate (DAS) technology), have shown high effectiveness for the treatment of ph...
Article
Sulfide-mining wastes may lead to severe environmental and human health risks, especially challenging in abandoned mines without environmental regulation. This work is aimed at discussing the environmental problems associated to this type of wastes, the risks posed by metal(loid) exposure to living organisms, as well as the measures available to mi...
Article
Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) generates a great concern worldwide due to its severe affection to water resources during hundreds and even thousands of years after the cessation of mining activity if control measures are not implemented. AMD treatment is an environmental necessity, but also constitute a tremendous opportunity for the valorization of pote...
Article
The optimization of the dispersed alkaline substrate (DAS) technology was investigated to achieve the treatment of highly acidic and polluted effluents from a phosphogypsum pile in an orphan site of SW Spain. This phosphogypsum disposal area is located on the Tinto river marsh soils, where it acts as a source of pollution for the estuarine environm...
Article
This paper tries to analyse the technical and economic performance of a full-scale passive Disperse Alkaline Substrate (DAS) treatment plant steadily operating for 28 months (840 days) to treat extremely acidic and metal rich mine waters in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Spain). For the first time, an economic evaluation of this technology and its com...
Article
This paper addresses the behaviour of several technology critical metals (TCMs), i.e., rare earth elements (REEs), Y, Sc, Ga and Tl, in the Tinto River (SW Spain), quantifying their fluxes to the Atlantic Ocean and unravelling the governing geochemical processes controlling their solubility. To accomplish this goal, a high-resolution (2–24 h) sampl...
Article
This study focuses on the search for a sustainable treatment and metal recovery system for acid discharges from a fertilizer industry in SW Spain. The methodology proposed involves the addition of two types of alkaline materials (an industrial waste and a commercial reagent) to neutralize the acidity and remove dissolved elements. In the first case...
Chapter
Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a worldwide problem generated by oxidation of metal sulfides, which causes the generation of acidic and metal‐rich solutions. The strong water‐rock interaction processes observed during sulfide oxidation lead to the release of high concentrations of sulfate (up to hundreds of g/L) and pollutants such as Fe, Al, and As (f...
Article
This study deals with the metal partitioning and bioavailability of metal/loids in the estuary Ria of Huelva (SW Spain) which is strongly affected by historical mining and industrial activities. To address this issue, traditional (i.e., grab samples) and passive sampling (i.e., diffusive gradient in thin films, DGTs) was carried out in the outer pa...
Article
Efflorescent sulfate salts constitute a transient storage of acidity and metals during the dry season in mining areas affected by acid mine drainage, especially under semiarid climates. The main goal of this work was to study the metal partitioning among the dissolved and solid phases through the evaporative precipitation sequence of extremely meta...
Article
Extensive extraction of technology critical elements (TCEs) from the lithosphere and their use results in a growing dispersion and remobilisation of these elements within the environmental compartments. We investigated the concentration and mobility of different TCEs (rare earth elements (REEs), Sc, Y, Ga and Tl) in acid mine drainage (AMD) outflow...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Flood events may play a key role in the metal transport fluxes from rivers to oceans. This is especially relevant in semi-arid and arid climate regions, which alternate long drought periods and short but intense rainfall events, when most of the water discharge, dissolved contaminants, and suspended matter transport occurs. This study provides info...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The acidic and metal rich waters of the Odiel and Tinto rivers flow into the Huelva Estuary (SW Spain), where mixing with seawater take place. During these mixing processes intense precipitation of Fe and Al in the fluvial domain of the estuary is observed. Hence, a buffer at pH ranges between 3 and 5.5 is observed, although the spatial location of...
Article
In May 2017, a spill from La Zarza pit lake (SW Spain) resulted in the release of approximately 270,000 m3of extremely acidic waters to the Odiel River. Around 780�103kg of Fe, 170�103kg of Al, 2.15�103kgof As and high amounts of other trace metals and metalloids were spilled. The purpose of this study is toexplain the causes, consequences and impa...
Article
The Gabes Gulf had received huge quantities of phosphogypsum discharged from fertilizer plants. Dumping phosphogypsum in coastal waters leads to the formation of foam layers which can float on the surface and be passively transported to distant areas. This is the first attempt at geochemical and mineralogical characterization of these industrial fo...
Article
Full-text available
Iron-rich sediments commonly cover riverbeds affected by acid mine drainage (AMD). Initial precipitates are often dominated by schwertmannite, which has an exceptionally high capacity to sequester As and other toxic elements. This poorly crystalline Fe oxyhydroxysulfate rapidly recrystallizes to goethite; however, the influence of trace elements on...
Article
This research evaluates the feasibility of an alkaline treatment system for highly acid leachates from a phosphogypsum stack located in an estuarine environment degraded by such pollution. The presented methodology consists of the addition of a Ca(OH)2 solution to the different types of phosphogypsum-related acidic leachates with the aim to increas...
Article
The cementation complex of Las Viñas (SW Spain) is a partially reclaimed abandoned mine site located in the drainage basin of a water reservoir currently under construction. The aim of this investigation was to analyze these mine soils to evaluate their potential environmental impact, especially on the final reservoir water quality. Results evidenc...
Article
Mining residues management is one of the greatest challenges for mining companies around the world. The increasing consciousness of the general public and governments about the potential threat that those residues can pose to the environment is demanding consistent and precise methodologies for assessing the potential release of toxic metals. On th...
Article
Patient-based study explored the impact of chronic metal exposure on gallstones. • Gallstones from geologically contrasting areas were analyzed for chemical content. • The study group exhibited enrichment in sulfide-associated metal(loid)s. • Pigment stones in the study group were enriched in Fe, Cu, Zn, Sr, As, Ag, Sb and Pb. This study aims to ex...
Article
Highly acidic phosphogypsum wastes with elevated potential for contaminant leaching are stack-piled near coastal areas worldwide, threatening the adjacent environment. Huge phosphogypsum stacks were disposed directly on the marshes of the Estuary of Huelva (SW Spain) without any impermeable barrier to prevent leaching and thus, contributing to the...
Article
This research reports the effects of pH increase on contaminant mobility in phosphogypsum leachates by seawater mixing, as occurs with dumpings on marine environments. Acid leachates from a phosphogypsum stack located in the Estuary of Huelva (Spain) were mixed with seawater to achieve gradually pH 7. Concentrations of Al, Fe, Cr, Pb and U in mixed...
Article
Determining the availability of natural radionuclides in environmental conditions is increasingly important in order to evaluate their toxicity. A validated procedure is necessary to ensure the comparability and accuracy of the results obtained by different laboratories. For that, an optimised BCR sequential extraction procedure has been applied to...
Article
Sulfate reduction and its associated contaminant immobilization in marsh soils supporting a phosphogypsum stack was examined by pore-water and solid analysis, selective extractions, microscopy and sulfur K-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy. The negative impact of this stack on estuarine environments is a concerning prob...
Article
Full-text available
Schwertmannite is a poorly crystalline nanometric iron sulfate oxyhydroxide. This mineral shows a structural variability under different environments. Because of that, the determination of its structure and, consequently, of its physical–chemical properties is quite challenging. This article presents a detailed structural investigation of the struc...
Article
Basaluminite is a poorly crystalline aluminum hydroxysulfate that precipitates in waters affected by acid mine drainage (AMD) and in acid sulfate soils (ASS). Its ability to sequester potentially toxic elements, such as Cu and As, makes it an important component of these systems, with strong environmental implications. Although it was initially des...
Article
Based on a systematic literature search (Number of initial publications = 1571; Number of in-depth publications = 97), this paper reviews the different potential applications for phosphogypsum, the main unwanted by-product of the fertilizer industry, providing some insights into the new valorization routes, and critically describing the advantages...
Article
Chronic metal exposure, e.g. from metal mining, may cause accumulation of metals in soft and hard tissues, and in developing biomineralizations in the human body. Gallstones are biomineralizations formed in the gallbladder which are able to trap trace elements from the bile. Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) wa...
Article
Lanthanide series have been used as a record of the water–rock interaction and work as a tool for identifying impacts of acid mine drainage (lixiviate residue derived from sulphide oxidation). The application of North-American Shale Composite-normalized rare earth elements patterns to these minority elements allows determining the origin of the con...
Article
Phosphogypsum is the main waste generated by the phosphate fertilizer industry. Despite the high level of pollutants found in phosphogypsum and the proximity of stacks to cities, there are no specific regulations for the management of this waste. This study addresses this issue by applying to phosphogypsum, from a fertilizer plant in Huelva (SW Spa...
Article
Full-text available
The Odiel River Basin (SW Spain) drains the central part of the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB), a world-class example of sulfide mining district and concomitantly of acid mine drainage (AMD) pollution. The severe AMD pollution and the incipient state of remediation strategies implemented in this region, coupled with the proximity of the deadline for com...
Article
This paper explores the possibility of using wastes (i.e. solid phosphogypsum (PG), process waters and edge outflows) generated by a fertilizer plant in SW Spain as a source of elements of economic interest, estimating the available metal reserves and discussing the technological and economic pros and cons of this potential source of raw materials....
Article
Full-text available
Iron-rich sediments commonly cover riverbeds that have been affected by acid drainage associated with sulfidemineral oxidation. Freshly-formed precipitates correspond to poorly-crystalline oxyhydroxysulfates that recrystallize over time. This study examined the distribution and mineral association of trace elements (e.g., As, Cu, Zn) in modern and...
Article
Basaluminite precipitation may play an important role in the behavior of trace elements in water and sediments affected by acid mine drainage and acid sulfate soils. In the present study the affinity of basaluminite and schwertmannite for arsenate and selenate is compared, and the coordination geometries of these oxyanions in both structures are re...
Article
This study explores the environmental impact of metal exposure on humans through detailed phase and structural characterization of gallstones from two environmentally contrasting populations in Huelva Province (SW Spain). A total of 42 gallstone samples, obtained after surgical intervention at the Riotinto Hospital, were studied by powder X-ray dif...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB) covers a vast part of the SW of Spain and Portugal. This region is rich in sulfide deposits which have been exploited intensively. As a consequence, there is a large number of sources of acid mine drainages, characterized by very extreme pH conditions and high pollution load. Waters affected by acid mine drainage (AMD)...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Rare Earth Elements and Yttrium (REY) are raw materials of increasing importance for modern technological developments. Most of production is concentrated in China, and finding alternative sources of REY has become a need for the rest of countries. Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is commonly considered an environmental pollution. However, AMD may contain...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Rare Earth Elements and Yttrium (REY) are raw materials of increasing importance for modern technological developments. Most of production is concentrated in China, and finding alternative sources of REY has become a need for the rest of countries. Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is commonly considered an environmental pollution. However, AMD may contain...
Article
Underground mine drainages are extremely difficult to study due to the lack of information about the flow path and source proximity in relation to the outflow adit. Geochemical processes controlling metals and acidity fluxes in a complex anthropogenic mine aquifer in SW Spain during the dry and rainy season were investigated by geochemical and stat...
Article
In the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB), especially within the Tinto and Odiel River basins, there is a large number of sources of acid mine drainages (AMD), characterised by very extreme pH conditions and pollution levels. This paper studies the main factors governing the composition of the different leachates, based on ionic relationships. Statistically...
Article
This study provides geochemical data with the aim of identifying and tracing the weathering of phosphogypsum wastes stack-piled directly on salt-marshes of the Tinto River (Estuary of Huelva, SW Spain). With that purpose, different types of highly-polluted acid solutions were collected in the stack. Connection between these solutions and the estuar...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is an unwanted pollution that is expected to flow out from coal and sulfide mines for hundreds of years. AMD hosts Rare Earth Elements and Ytrium (REY) concentrations up to two orders of magnitude higher than those in continental waters and oceans. AMD passive remediation systems neutralize AMD with a calcite, leading to a...
Conference Paper
Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) presents low pH values and high concentrations of sulfate, iron, aluminum and other metal(loid)s [1]. While much has been reported on the important role of Fe-bearing phases as scavengers of contaminants in AMD, less is known about the role of AlSO 4-phases. In the current study, lab-experiments and structural characterizat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Schwertmannite is a Fe oxyhydroxysulfate commonly formed in acid drainage (AD). This metastable phase is an important sink for trace metal(oid)s including Cu, As, Zn, Mn and Ni. However, schwertmannite recrystallizes to goethite in the short-term followed by its transformation to hematite over long time scales. Terraces that form in AD-impacted riv...
Article
The industry of phosphoric acid produces a calcium-rich by-product known as phosphogypsum, which is usually stored in large stacks of millions of tons. Up to now, no commercial application has been widely implemented for its reuse because of the significant presence of potentially toxic contaminants. This work confirmed that up to 96% of the calciu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The problem of acid mine drainage is especially tangible in water stored in open pits in the Iberian Pyrite Belt. Recent research studies focus on remediation using alkaline materials. This text presents an experiment carried out with low cost waste coming from the paper industry for the recovery of water and its subsequent use as irrigation. Few s...
Article
Newly-formed Fe terrace samples and corresponding water samples of Tinto and Odiel River, as well as, ancient terrace samples representing conditions of ancient Tinto River, were collected and studied by optical microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, microprobe analysis, pseudo-total digestions, and by chem...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
http://www.ehu.eus/sem/macla_pdf/macla19/Cruz-Hernandez.et.al_SEM2014.WEB.pdf