Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 319, Issue 1, pp 339–346 | Cite as

Investigation of bauxite residue (red mud) in terms of its environmental risk

  • Banu OzdenEmail author
  • Colin Brennan
  • Sheldon Landsberger


This research describes the method of neutron activation analysis (NAA) and Compton suppression for determination of some toxic elements in red mud (collected from Eti Seydisehir Aluminium Plant in Turkey). Furthermore, short-term leaching tests of elements were undertaken on red mud to evaluate in terms of the environmental impact. Morphological characterizations and qualitative element composition of red mud were also performed by SEM–EDX analysis. Fe, Al, Na, Ti and Ca contents in red mud were found significantly high. It can be concluded that some toxic elements may not easily mobile under the environmental conditions.


Red mud Neutron activation analysis Toxic elements Leaching 



The authors would like to express their gratitude to Eti Seydisehir Aluminium plant in Turkey for their co-operation in gathering samples and sharing technical data. We are grateful to the staff at Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab for running the TRIGA reactor. The authors also thank the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) for supporting the postdoctoral fellowship (BIDEP-2219) of Dr. Banu Ozden, under which her work was carried out.


  1. 1.
    Mordberg LE (1993) Patterns of distribution and behaviour of trace elements in bauxites. Chem Geol 107:241–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rubinos DA, Barral MT (2013) Fractionation and mobility of metals in bauxite red mud. Environ Sci Pollut Res 20:7787–7802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Patel S, Pal BK (2015) Current status of an industrial waste: red mud an overview. IJLTEMAS 4(8):1–16Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Klauber C, Gräfe M, Power G (2011) Bauxite residue issues: II. options for residue utilization. Hydrometallurgy 108:11–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Qu Y, Lian B (2013) Bioleaching of rare earth and radioactive elements from red mud using Penicillium tricolor RM-10. Bioresour Technol 136:16–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dentoni V, Grosso B, Massacci G (2014) Environmental sustainability of the alumina industry in Western Europe. Sustainability 6:9477–9493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Liu Y, Lin C, We Y (2007) Characterization of red mud derived from a combined Bayer Process and bauxite calcination method. J Hazard Mater 146:255–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Liu Z, Li H (2015) Metallurgical process for valuable elements recovery from red mud—a review. Hydrometallurgy 155:29–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Deady EA, Mouchos E, Goodenough K, Williamson BJ, Wall F (2016) A review of the potential for rare-earth element resources from European red muds: examples from Seydişehir, Turkey and Parnassus-Giona, Greece. Mineral Mag 80(1):43–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dauvin JC (2010) Towards an impact assessment of bauxite red mud waste on the knowledge of the structure and functions of bathyal ecosystems: the example of the Cassidaigne canyon (north-western Mediterranean Sea). Mar Pollut Bull 60:197–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Varnavas SP, Achilleopoulos PP (1995) Factors controlling the vertical and spatial transport of metal-rich particulate matter in seawater at the outfall of bauxitic red mud toxic waste. Sci Total Environ 175:199–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) (2013) NORM4Building. Accessed 6 Aug 2018
  13. 13.
    European Commission. RedMud Project.Marie Skłodowska-Curie action (2014). Accessed 6 Aug 2018
  14. 14.
    Arslan S, Ucbeyiay H, Celikel B, Baygul M, Avcu S, Demir GK (2015) ETI Aluminium red mud characteristics and evaluation of dewatering performance. BR2015—Bauxite Residue Valorisation and Best Practices Conference, Leuven, 5-7 OctoberGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    U.S. EPA (1992) Method 1311-TCLP (Toxicity characteristic leaching procedure). Accessed 16 April 2018
  16. 16.
    Michenaud-Rague A, Robinson S, Landsberger S (2012) Trace elements in 11 fruits widely-consumed in the USA as determined by neutron activation analysis. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 291:237–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Petra M, Swift G, Landsberger S (1990) Design of a Ge-NaI(Tl) Compton suppression spectrometer and its use in neutron activation analysis. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res Sect A 299:85–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Landsberger S (1994) Compton suppression neutron activation methods in environmental analysis. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 179:67–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Landsberger S, Cizek WD, Domagala P (1992) NADA: a versatile pc based program for neutron activation data analysis. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 160(1):277–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Landsberger S, Cizek WD, Campbell RH (1994) NADA92: an automated, user-friendly program for neutron activation data analysis. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 180(1):55–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ochsenkühn-Petropoulou M, Lyberopulu T, Parissakis G (1994) Direct determination of lanthanides, yttrium and scandium in bauxites and red mud from alumina production. Anal Chim Acta 296:305–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    WHO (World Health Organization) (2017) Guidelines for drinking water quality. Accessed 12 Sept 2018
  23. 23.
    Lombi E, Zhao F, Zhang G, Sun B, Fitz W, Zhang H, McGrath SP (2002) In situ fixation of metals in soils using bauxite residue: chemical assessment. Environ Pollut 118:435–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bertocchi AF, Ghiani M, Peretti R, Zucca A (2006) Red mud and fly ash for remediation of mine sites contaminated with As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn. J Hazard Mater B134:112–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hakanson L (1980) An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control—a sedimentological approach. Water Res 14:975–1001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Council of European Communities (1986) Council directive on the protection of the environment, and in particular of the soil, when sewage sludge is used in agricultureGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ozkan A, Ozkan V, Sungur S, Birses H (2017) Heavy metal pollution around international hatay airport. NESciences 2(1):18–24Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Banu Ozden
    • 1
    Email author
  • Colin Brennan
    • 2
  • Sheldon Landsberger
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Nuclear SciencesEge UniversityBornova, IzmirTurkey
  2. 2.Nuclear Engineering Teaching LaboratoryThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

Personalised recommendations