Solar irradiation prospects in cyanide-bearing wastewater decontamination

Cyanide-bearing wastewater of mines often contains oxidation-resistant thiocyanates which prevent water purification. It is required to develop methods to minimize entry of thiocyanates to the environments due to their acute and chronic toxicity for aquatic biota, and also because of their ability to impede synthesis of thyroid hormones in higher organisms. The promising nature of the combination method for removal of thiocyanates from mine wastewater is demonstrated. The method consists in photochemical oxidation of pollutants in a Fentonlike system {Solar+S O 2–+Fe3+}, with natural sunlight as a source of radiation. Addition of ions Fe3+ increases constants of oxidation rate of thiocyanates by 20 times and results in their total destruction. It is found that variation in concentration of the oxidant and the increased exposure duration enables oxidation of thiocyanates down to a lesser number of toxic compounds. It is experimentally proved that photochemical oxidation of thiocyanates follows the joint ion–radical mechanism via formation of intermediate iron-bearing complexes which act as photosensitizers and initiate generation of in-situ active oxygen species, mainly sulfate anion-radicals.

Keywords: thiocyanates, cyanide-bearing wastewater, combination treatment methods, photochemical oxidation, active oxygen species, sulfate anion-radicals, photosensitizers, peroxidisulfate, natural sunlight.
For citation:

Batoeva A. A., Sizykh M. R., Munkoeva V. A., Tsybikova B. A. Solar irradiation prospects in cyanide-bearing wastewater decontamination. MIAB. Mining Inf. Anal. Bull. 2021;(7):53-69. [In Russ]. DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2021_7_0_53.


The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and by the Government of the Republic of Buryatia, Joint Project No. 18-48-030005, and by the Baikal Institute of Nature Management, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Project No. 0273-2021-0006.

Issue number: 7
Year: 2021
Page number: 53-69
ISBN: 0236-1493
UDK: 628.316.12+544.526.2
DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2021_7_0_53
Article receipt date: 26.02.2021
Date of review receipt: 23.03.2021
Date of the editorial board′s decision on the article′s publishing: 10.06.2021
About authors:

A.A. Batoeva1, Dr. Sci. (Eng.), Head of Laboratory, e-mail:,
M.R. Sizykh1, Cand. Sci. (Eng.), Senior Researcher, e-mail:,
V.A. Munkoeva1, Engineer, e-mail:,
B.A. Tsybikova1, Cand. Sci. (Eng.), Researcher, e-mail:,
1 Baikal Institute of Nature Management, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, 670047, Ulan-Ude, Russia.


For contacts:

A.A. Batoeva, e-mail:


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