Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 13, pp 12822–12834 | Cite as

Proposal for management and alkalinity transformation of bauxite residue in China

  • Shengguo Xue
  • Xiangfeng Kong
  • Feng Zhu
  • William Hartley
  • Xiaofei Li
  • Yiwei Li
Review Article


Bauxite residue is a hazardous solid waste produced during the production of alumina. Its high alkalinity is a potential threat to the environment which may disrupt the surrounding ecological balance of its disposal areas. China is one of the major global producers of alumina and bauxite residue, but differences in alkalinity and associated chemistry exist between residues from China and those from other countries. A detailed understanding of the chemistry of bauxite residue remains the key to improving its management, both in terms of minimizing environmental impacts and reducing its alkaline properties. The nature of bauxite residue and the chemistry required for its transformation are still poorly understood. This review focuses on various transformation processes generated from the Bayer process, sintering process, and combined Bayer-sintering process in China. Problems associated with transformation mechanisms, technical methods, and relative merits of these technologies are reviewed, while current knowledge gaps and research priorities are recommended. Future research should focus on transformation chemistry and its associated mechanisms and for the development of a clear and economic process to reduce alkalinity and soda in bauxite residue.


Bauxite residue Waste management Alkalinity transformation Neutralization Amelioration Chemical mechanism 



Financial supports from the Environmental Protection’s Special Scientific Research for Chinese Public Welfare Industry (No. 201509048), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41371475) and the Open-End Fund for the Valuable and Precision Instruments of Central South University (No. CSUZC201610) are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shengguo Xue
    • 1
  • Xiangfeng Kong
    • 1
  • Feng Zhu
    • 1
  • William Hartley
    • 2
  • Xiaofei Li
    • 1
  • Yiwei Li
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Metallurgy and EnvironmentCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Crop and Environment Sciences DepartmentHarper Adams UniversityNewportUK

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