Processes of arsenic (As) transformation in copper tailings amended with organic matter and As uptake by native plants

Research focuses on bio-weathering of pyrite in sulfidic tailings for hardpan formation

A massive and dense textured layer (ca. 35 - 50 cm thick) of hardpan was found to be formed in a sulfidic Cu-Pb-Zn tailing, above which a native plant community has been developed for more than a decade. Allen Yunjia Liu's study has characterised the microstructures of the hardpan profile at different depth compared with the tailings underneath the hardpans by using various micro spectroscopic technologies including field emission-scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive spectroscopy (FE-SEM-EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and synchrotron-based X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (XAFS).  

These findings have uncovered the microstructure of hardpan formed from sulfidic Cu-Pb-Zn tailings within a revegetation profile under field conditions, which provides useful information for in situ acceleration of hardpan formation for mine site rehabilitation.


Allen undertook his Undergraduate degree at Lanzhou University in China majoring in agriculture (2007-2011). Allen then commenced studying for his MPhil at CMLR, in the field of Environmental Engineering with Associate Professor Longbin Huang (2012-2014). Allen is currently undertaking PhD study at SMI.