Experimental Simulation of Long Term Weathering in Alkaline Bauxite Residue Tailings
AbstractBauxite residue is an alkaline, saline tailings material generated as a byproduct of the Bayer process used for alumina refining. Developing effective plans for the long term management of potential environmental impacts associated with storage of these tailings is dependent on understanding how the chemical and mineralogical properties of the tailings will change during weathering and transformation into a soil-like material. Hydrothermal treatment of bauxite residue was used to compress geological weathering timescales and examine potential mineral transformations during weathering. Gibbsite was rapidly converted to boehmite; this transformation was examined with in situ synchrotron XRD. Goethite, hematite, and calcite all precipitated over longer weathering timeframes, while tricalcium aluminate dissolved. pH, total alkalinity, and salinity (electrical conductivity) all decreased during weathering despite these experiments being performed under “closed” conditions (i.e., no leaching). This indicates the potential for auto-attenuation of the high alkalinity and salinity that presents challenges for long term environmental management, and suggests that management requirements will decrease during weathering as a result of these mineral transformations. View Full-Text
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Santini, T.C.; Fey, M.V.; Gilkes, R.J. Experimental Simulation of Long Term Weathering in Alkaline Bauxite Residue Tailings. Metals 2015, 5, 1241-1261.
Santini TC, Fey MV, Gilkes RJ. Experimental Simulation of Long Term Weathering in Alkaline Bauxite Residue Tailings. Metals. 2015; 5(3):1241-1261.Chicago/Turabian Style
Santini, Talitha C.; Fey, Martin V.; Gilkes, Robert J. 2015. "Experimental Simulation of Long Term Weathering in Alkaline Bauxite Residue Tailings." Metals 5, no. 3: 1241-1261.