Leaching characteristics and mechanism of the synthetic calcium-aluminate slags for alumina recovery

Fabian Imanasa Azof, Yongxiang Yang, Dimitrios Panias, Leiv Kolbeinsen, Jafar Safarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
181 Downloads (Pure)


The leaching characteristics and mechanism of synthetic CaO-Al 2 O 3 slags in alkaline solution at atmospheric pressure have been studied. The purpose of the study is to have a better understanding of the leaching part of the Pedersen process, as an alternative to the Bayer process for alumina production. The crystalline slags containing CaAl 2 O 4 , Ca 3 Al 2 O 6 , CaAl 4 O 7 , and Ca 12 Al 14 O 33 phases, and leaching residues (predominantly CaCO 3 ) are characterized by X-ray Diffraction and semi-quantitative analysis. Of the leaching characteristics in a solution containing 120 g/L Na 2 CO 3 , the slag with the highest amount of Ca 12 Al 14 O 33 phase is the most leachable one in the CaO-Al 2 O 3 system with about 95% of alumina extraction. The leaching extent is confirmed employing Inductively Coupled Plasma-High Resolution-Mass Spectrometer (ICP-HR-MS) analysis, and it decreases by 0.4% for every percent of the bayerite (Al(OH) 3 ) formation during the leaching. The less stable form of CaCO 3 , i.e., vaterite, is formed over the leached slag particles that consist 33–49 wt% CaO, while Ca 3 Al 2 (OH) 12 (tricalcium alumina hydrate) precipitated at relatively low concentrations (< 6 wt%) in all residue. The non-bridging oxygen (NBO) over tetrahedral structure (T) index shows that the atomic structure may affect the leaching extent of the slags, the lower NBO/T index of the phase is the more difficult for the phase to leach or depolymerize. However, the Ca 12 Al 14 O 33 phase is an exception case where it has “free” O-ions at the center of the cage structure, which makes it easily depolymerize, therefore, the NBO/T index for the Ca 12 Al 14 O 33 phase becomes irrelevant. Furthermore, the morphology and size evolution of the obtained residue measured with laser particle analyzer indicates the agglomeration behavior of the residue particles during the leaching process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-290
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Alumina
  • Calcium-aluminate slags
  • CaO-Al O system
  • Leaching characteristics
  • Leaching mechanism

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Leaching characteristics and mechanism of the synthetic calcium-aluminate slags for alumina recovery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this