Aluminous goethite in the bayer process and its impact on alumina recovery and settling
|dc.contributor.supervisor||Dr Franca Jones|
Aluminium substituted goethite present in the Bayer process is closely related to settling problem and reduction of alumina recovery. The finer particle size and larger specific surface area of Al-substituted goethite compared with those of hematite contribute to the negative effects to the Bayer circuit.The project aims to improve the settling performance and recover alumina from aluminous goethite by hydrothermal transformation of Al-goethite to hematite/Al-hematite in the Bayer digestion process.A hypothesis of the solubility limit in goethite-diaspore solid solution (Al-goethite) has been developed through the characteristic study on synthetic Al-goethite. The mechanism of Al for Fe substitution has presumably been considered to be a partial Al substitution in the core of goethite structure with the remainder forming a surface diaspore coating.The thermal transformation of goethite to hematite does not change the goethite structure until temperature 600°C since the phase change happens in the temperature range of 300 to 400°C. On the other hand, the study of hydrothermal transformation of goethite suggests that 230°C is the sensitive reaction temperature. Hematite seeding is beneficial to the transformation while alumina content is an inhibitor.Natural aluminous goethite in the Bayer digestion performs differently due to the effects of impurities in the bauxite on the process. The presence of anatase adversely affects the transformation through the reaction with caustic to form into sodium titanate, which forms a film-like coating on the surface of goethite to prevent further transformation. However, adding CaCO3 directly to the digestion zone at 250°C can largely improve the transformation of Al-goethite to hematite by consuming anatase with CaCO3 to prevent the formation of sodium titanate. It is noted that the adding point of CaCO3 is crucial to the enhancement.A near completion of hydrothermal transformation of aluminous goethite to hematite has been achieved through the addition of CaCO3 directly to the digestion zone at 250ºC within 30 minutes. The extent of Al substitution in the original goethite from 25 mol% reduces to 5~6 mol% in hematite. More importantly, alumina recovery increased by 20% and the settling rate greatly improves as a result of the transformation of Al-goethite to hematite.
|dc.title||Aluminous goethite in the bayer process and its impact on alumina recovery and settling|
|curtin.faculty||Faculty of Science and Engineering, Department of Chemistry|