2School of Chemical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran
3School of Mining Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Low grade diasporic bauxite in the Jajarm mine with an A/S (Al2O3/SiO2) ratio of 2.3 is not usable in the Bayer process at Jajarm Alumina Complex. Due to the severe interlocking effect between the diaspore and aluminosilicate minerals (Chamosite and Kaolinite) and iron-containing minerals in a microcrystal matrix, the thermo-chemical treatment, which is independent from micro-mineralogy, was chosen for bauxite desilication. Five parameters affecting the process and their interactions were investigated using the Taguchi experimental design method. The results obtained showed that there was an interaction between the furnace temperature and the leaching time. Moreover, the optimum values for the parameters involved in the thermo-chemical treatment were determined to be a furnace temperature of 950 °C, a furnace residence time of 90 min, a leaching agent (soda) concentration of 150 g L-1, and a leaching time of 120 min, where the solid content (in leaching) had no effect. Moreover, a model was proposed using the Dx7 software to predict the A/S ratio. The ratio was predicted to be 7.52 at the optimum conditions, whereas in the experiments carried out under the same conditions, it was obtained to be 6.96 ± 0.2, which means a 59% decrease in silica and an increase in the A/S ratio of up to 3 times with 80% weight recovery.