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Open AccessArticle

Distribution of Selected Trace Elements in the Bayer Process

Department of Continuous Improvement and Systems Management, Aluminium of Greece Plant, Metallurgy Business Unit, Mytilineos S.A., Agios Nikolaos, 32003 Viotia, Greece
School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Iroon Polytechniou 9, Zografou Campus, 15780 Athens, Greece
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is the written, extended and updated version of the oral presentation entitled as “Distribution of Trace Elements Through the Bayer Process and its By-Products”, presented in the 35th International Conference and Exhibition ICSOBA-2017 which was held in Hamburg, Germany from 2–5 October 2017; Vind, J.; Vassiliadou, V.; Panias, D. Distribution of trace elements through the Bayer process and its by-products. In Proceedings, Travaux 46; Hamburg, Germany, 2–5 October 2017; pp. 255–267; (accessed on 23 March 2018).
Metals 2018, 8(5), 327;
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
The aim of this work was to achieve an understanding of the distribution of selected bauxite trace elements (gallium (Ga), vanadium (V), arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), rare earth elements (REEs), scandium (Sc)) in the Bayer process. The assessment was designed as a case study in an alumina plant in operation to provide an overview of the trace elements behaviour in an actual industrial setup. A combination of analytical techniques was used, mainly inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and optical emission spectroscopy as well as instrumental neutron activation analysis. It was found that Ga, V and As as well as, to a minor extent, Cr are principally accumulated in Bayer process liquors. In addition, Ga is also fractionated to alumina at the end of the Bayer processing cycle. The rest of these elements pass to bauxite residue. REEs and Sc have the tendency to remain practically unaffected in the solid phases of the Bayer process and, therefore, at least 98% of their mass is transferred to bauxite residue. The interest in such a study originates from the fact that many of these trace constituents of bauxite ore could potentially become valuable by-products of the Bayer process; therefore, the understanding of their behaviour needs to be expanded. In fact, Ga and V are already by-products of the Bayer process, but their distribution patterns have not been provided in the existing open literature. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bayer process; trace elements; vanadium; gallium; rare earth elements; lanthanum; yttrium; scandium; karst bauxite; bauxite residue; red mud Bayer process; trace elements; vanadium; gallium; rare earth elements; lanthanum; yttrium; scandium; karst bauxite; bauxite residue; red mud
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Vind, J.; Alexandri, A.; Vassiliadou, V.; Panias, D. Distribution of Selected Trace Elements in the Bayer Process. Metals 2018, 8, 327.

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