Disposal Practices and Utilization of Red Mud (Bauxite Residue): A Review in Indian Context and Abroad
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The insoluble product generated during bauxite digestion with sodium hydroxide at elevated temperature and pressure is known as ‘bauxite residue’ or ‘red mud.’ Due to its high alkalinity (pH ranges between 11.50 and 13), its storage and disposal become a major issue. It can cause problems such as contamination of groundwater due to alkali seepage, impacting air quality with alkaline dust which has its effect on plant life, and a large area of land required for its disposal. This paper critically reviews the disposal practices and utilization of bauxite residue in India and abroad. It assesses the data of Indian alumina refineries regarding bauxite residue generation and utilization in the year 2017. The application areas of bauxite residue utilization in building and construction and metal recovery by these refineries have been reported. Other areas of red mud utilization can be in vegetation, pollution control and as catalysts. This paper is an effort with the aim to review the contributions of India and other countries of the world to resolving the problems associated with bauxite residue from the twentieth century onward up to the year 2018.
KeywordsBauxite residue Red mud Disposal Utilization
The authors are thankful to the Ministry of Mines, Government of India, for sponsoring the project.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there are no conflicts of interest.
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