Vanadium removal and recovery from bauxite residue leachates by ion exchange

Helena I. Gomes*, Ashley Jones, Mike Rogerson, Ian T. Burke, William M. Mayes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Bauxite residue is an important by-product of the alumina industry, and current management practices do not allow their full valorisation, especially with regard to the recovery of critical metals. This work aims to test the efficiency of ion exchange resins for vanadium (V) removal and recovery from bauxite residue leachates at alkaline pH (11.5 and 13). As an environmental pollutant, removal of V from leachates may be an obligation of bauxite residue disposal areas (BRDA) long-term management requirements. Vanadium removal from the leachate can be coupled with the recovery, and potentially can be used to offset long-term legacy treatment costs in legacy sites. Kinetics studies were performed to understand the adsorption process. The rate kinetics for the V adsorption was consistent with the pseudo-first-order kinetic model, with a higher adsorption rate for pH 11.5 (1.2 min−1). Adsorption isotherm data fitted better to Freundlich equations than to the Langmuir model. The maximum adsorption capacity (Langmuir value qmax) was greatest for pH 13 (9.8 mg V g−1 resin). In column tests, breakthrough was reached at 70 bed volumes with the red mud leachate at pH 13, while no breakthrough was achieved with the effluent at pH 11.5. In regeneration, 42 and 76 % of V were eluted from the resin with 2 M NaOH from the red mud leachate at pH 13 and 11.5, respectively. Further optimization will be needed to upscale the treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23034-23042
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number22
Early online date1 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


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