Title

Toxicity of raw and neutralized bauxite refinery residue liquors to the freshwater cladoceran Ceriodaphnia dubia and the marine amphipod Paracalliope australis

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Howe, PL, Clark, MW, Reichelt-Brushett, AJ & Johnston, M 2011, 'Toxicity of raw and neutralized bauxite refinery residue liquors to the freshwater cladoceran Ceriodaphnia dubia and the marine amphipod Paracalliope australis', Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, vol. 30, no. 12, pp. 2817-2824.

The publisher's version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.692

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

The extraction of alumina from bauxite produces a highly toxic residue, termed bauxite refinery residue (BRR) or red mud. The toxicity of this material is due to chemical and biological effects of high pH, alkalinity, electrical conductivity (EC), and Na+ and Al3+ concentrations. Several neutralization techniques may allow BRR to be used for environmental remediation. The present study investigated standardized 48-h acute toxicity tests with a freshwater cladoceran, Ceriodaphnia dubia, and a marine amphipod, Paracalliope australis, against raw supernatant BRR liquor (RL) versus liquors neutralized with acid (ANL), CO2 (CNL), seawater (SNL), and a hybrid method (HNL). Based on 48-h LC50 values, the toxicity of the liquors to C. dubia increased in the following order; HNL ≤ SNL < ANL ≤ CNL < RL, with comparable responses from P. australis. The high toxicity of RL likely is due to high pH (∼12), alkalinity, and Al concentration. Toxicity of CNL likely is due to high EC and alkalinity. Sulfate and Na+ concentrations are considered sources of toxicity in ANL. Seawater-neutralized liquor and HNL were considerably less toxic to both test species. These data provide evidence of the acute lethal toxicity of raw supernatant liquor from BRR and four neutralized supernatant liquors to the freshwater cladoceran C. dubia and the marine amphipod P. australis, providing valuable baselines for further ecotoxicological investigations of BRR materials in aquatic environments. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2011;30:2817–2824.