Alkali-reduced Bauxite Residue as Novel SCM
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Bauxite residue is a major waste stream available in large volumes globally that can cause risks to the surrounding environment (e.g. ecotoxicity) when disposed and stored by conventional methods. There is yet no large-scale application and the utilization as supplementary cementitious material might be the best way to re-use bauxite residue. The main obstacle for the utilization of bauxite residue in the construction industry is the high alkalinity. This paper presents first results of a study on alkali reduction of bauxite residue by acetic acid treatment and the potential application of this alkali reduced bauxite residue as pozzolan in cementitious binders. A process of alkali reduction is presented that can help solving waste management problems of alumina refineries by transforming bauxite residue to a less hazardous waste, while producing a reactive pozzolan and Na-acetate that can find application in the construction and infrastructure market. 90% alkalinity reduction of bauxite residue could be achieved by simply washing with diluted acetic acid. Alkali-reduced bauxite residue showed good pozzolanic reactivity regarding portlandite consumption, bound water and 28-day compressive strength of mortars with 20% replacement of OPC.