Variation on leaching behavior of caustic compounds in bauxite residue during dealkalization process

Jun Jiang , Yujun Wu , Meng Li , Feng Zhu , William Hartley , Jiaxin Liao , Wenhui An , Shengguo Xue


Received December 25, 2019,Revised , Accepted February 02, 2020, Available online February 13, 2020

Volume 32,2020,Pages 141-150

Bauxite residue, a byproduct of alumina manufacture, is a serious environmental pollutant due to its high leaching contents of metals and caustic compounds. Four typical anions of CO32−, HCO3, Al(OH)4 and OH (represented caustic compounds) and metal ions (As, B, Mo and V) were selected to assess their leaching behavior under dealkalization process with different conditions including liquid/solid ratio (L/S ratio), temperature and leaching time. The results revealed that washing process could remove the soluble composition in bauxite residue effectively. The leaching concentrations of typical anions in bauxite residue decreased as follows: c(CO32−) > c(HCO3) > c[Al(OH)4] > c(OH). L/S ratio had a more significant effect on leaching behavior of OH, whilst the leaching concentration of Al(OH)4 varied larger underleaching temperature and time treatment. Under the optimal leaching, the total alkaline, soluble Na concentrations, exchangeable Ca concentrations were 79.52, 68.93, and 136.0 mmol/L, respectively, whilst the soluble and exchangeable content of As, B, Mo and V in bauxite residue changed slightly. However, it should be noted that water leaching has released metal ions such as As, B, Mo and V in bauxite residue to the surrounding environment. The semiquantitative analysis of XRD revealed that water leaching increased the content of gismondine from 2.4% to 6.4%. The SEM images demonstrated the dissolution of caustic compounds on bauxite residue surface. The correlation analysis indicated that CO32− and HCO3 could effectively reflect the alkalinity of bauxite residue, and may be regarded as critical dealkalization indicators to evaluate alkalinity removal in bauxite residue.

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