The Bayer process is the primary industrial method to refine bauxite into alumina, the majority of which is then used to produce aluminium.  During the process, some clay minerals in the bauxite feed and even some fine quartz dissolve.  The removal of these solution silicate species reduces process efficiency through reducing product yield, consuming reagents, scaling issues etc which also have the potential to contaminate the alumina product.

Researchers from The University of Queensland have identified an additive for the Bayer process that can reduce unwanted incorporation of product and reagent by around 70%.  No capex is required for implementation and the additive only requires a modest change to typical process operation.

Key features

  • Improved process efficiency including ~3% reduction in caustic soda usage
  • Environmental benefit due to reduced causticity of waste and reduced energy usage
  • No capex required – process additive only.

 

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