Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 4169–4175 | Cite as

Quaternized Chitosan for Ecological Treatment of Bauxite Mining Effluents

  • Rodrigo Gonçalves BigognoEmail author
  • Rubén Jesus Sánchez Rodríguez
  • Marlon de Freitas Abreu
Original Paper


One of the major concerns of mining companies is the safety of their tailing dams. Among the cares required to operate such a dam, a proper treatment of the effluent composing its waste stands out, since that, waste must be treated before returned to the environment. In the process of bauxite beneficiation, the effluent level of turbidity is the discard parameter that deserves attention. In this work, quaternized chitosan (TMCCl) derivative with cationic charge was synthetized and investigated to be used as coagulant in bauxite treatment for tailing dam effluent. The chitosan (CHT) was quaternized by methylation reaction. The quaternized chitosan structure was characterized by the following techniques: FTIR Spectroscopy and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Its thermal stability was analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis. After quaternized chitosan was obtained, analysis with aluminum sulfate, protonated and quaternized chitosan were executed in jar-test apparatus. The tests were conducted in order to find the optimum pH, velocity gradient, coagulant and alkalizer dosages, as well as coagulation, flocculation and decantation time. The studied coagulants showed good results and reduced the effluent turbidity to levels below determined by legislation. By comparing the coagulants, it was possible to state that quaternized chitosan presented higher reduction of effluent turbidity levels; the tests were performed in the same conditions.


Effluent treatment Quaternized chitosan Turbidity Coagulant Effluent 



We would like to thank FAPERJ and CNPq for the financial support and the CBA/Votorantim for its technical collaboration.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Advanced Materials (LAMAV), Center of Science and TechnologyNorthern State University Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro - UENFCampos dos GoytacazesBrazil

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