Title

Minimising alkalinity and pH spikes from Portland cement-bound Bauxsol (seawater-neutralized red mud) pellets for pH circum-neutral waters.

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Despland, LM, Clark, MW, Aragno, M & Vancov, T 2010, 'Minimising alkalinity and pH spikes from Portland cement-bound Bauxsol (seawater-neutralized red mud) pellets for pH circum-neutral waters', Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 44, no. 6, pp. 2119-2125.

Published version available from:

http://doi.org/10.1021/es9032138

Abstract

Bauxsol reagents (powder, slurry, or pellet forms) are powerful tools in environmental remediation and water and sewage treatment However, when used in circum-neutral water treatments, cement-bound Bauxsol pellets produce a sustained pH and alkalinity spike due to the presence of unreacted CaO in the cement binder. This study developed a pellet treatment system to minimize the alkalinity/pH spike. The recipe for pelletization consisted of Bauxsol powder, ordinary Portland cement (OPC), hydrophilic fumed silica, aluminum powder, a viscosity modifier, and water. Several batches (including different ratios and sizes) were run using modified makeup waters (H(2)0 + CO(2) or NaHCO(3)) or curing brines (CO(2), NaHCO(3), or Mg/CaCl(2)). Alkalinity, pH stability, and slake durability tests were performed on pellets before and/or after curing. The best result for reducing the alkalinity/pH spike was obtained from a MgCl(2), CaCl(2) bath treatment using a Bauxsol:cement ratio of 2.8:1 (pH 8.28; alkalinity 75.1 mg/L) for a 100 g batch or 245:1 (pH 8.05; alkalinity 35.4 mg/L) for a 1 kg batch. Although brine curing does provide a control on pH/alkalinity release, the pellets may still contain unreacted CaO. Therefore, a freshwater rinse of pellets before treating circum-neutral waters is recommended as is the continued investigation of alternative pellet binders.