The Bureau of Mines undertook this investigation to study methods of utilizing red mud residues from production of alumina from bauxite. Pilot-plant tests were conducted using Jamaican and Surinam red muds. Both the carbon-lime-soda sinter process and electric-arc smelting with coke and limestone were employed to recover iron and alumina. Alumina recoveries of 85 to 90 percent were obtained by the sinter process; although iron recovery was about 80 percent, the magnetic product was finely divided and difficult to separate from the gangue. Smelting red muds in the electric-arc furnace produced a pig iron with 98-percent recovery of iron; up to 84 percent of the al2o3 was recovered by leaching the calcium aluminate slag with na2co3 solution. A titania product assaying 96 percent tio2 was recovered from the nonmagnetic portion of Surinam red mud sinter by extraction with h2so4. Leached calcium aluminate slags and brown mud (from the combination Bayer process) are possible raw materials in the manufacture of portland cement.
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