Experimental simulation of long term weathering in alkaline bauxite residue tailings

Santini, Talitha C., Fey, Martin V. and Gilkes, Robert J. (2015) Experimental simulation of long term weathering in alkaline bauxite residue tailings. Metals, 5 3: 1241-1261. doi:10.3390/met5031241

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Author Santini, Talitha C.
Fey, Martin V.
Gilkes, Robert J.
Title Experimental simulation of long term weathering in alkaline bauxite residue tailings
Journal name Metals   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2075-4701
Publication date 2015
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3390/met5031241
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue 3
Start page 1241
End page 1261
Total pages 21
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher M D P I AG
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Bauxite 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.
Keyword Weathering
Pressure vessels
In situ XRD
Bauxite residue
Reaction kinetics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Jul 2015, 13:28:51 EST by Helen Smith on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management