Why in news?
An interactive workshop called ‘Waste to Wealth’ was organized by the Ministry of Mines in New Delhi regarding productive utilization of bauxite residue, commonly known as the ‘Red Mud’.
What is red mud?
- Bauxite tailings, also known as bauxite residue, red mud, red sludge is a highly alkaline waste product composed mainly of iron oxide that is generated in the industrial production of alumina.
- It consists of impurities such as caustic soda and other minerals.
- It is composed of a mixture of solid and metallic oxides.
- Iron oxides give it red color.
- The mud has a pH ranging from 10 to 13, thus highly basic.
- Red mud generation in India is around 9 million tones’ per year.
- Uses of Red mud:
- Used in Cement manufacturing
- Raw material recovery of specific components present in the tailings/residue: iron, titanium, steel and REE (rare-earth element) production.
- Landfill capping/roads/soil amelioration.
- Used as a component in building or construction materials (bricks, tiles, ceramics etc.)
- Use in building panels, treatment of acid mine drainage, adsorbent of heavy metals, dyes, phosphates, fluoride, water treatment chemicals, in glass ceramics etc…