Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Semirom Refractory Mining Company, Semirom, Iran

2 Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

3 Iran Alumina Company, Jajarm, Iran


As the mass ratio of alumina to silica (A/S ratio) in bauxite decreases, the cost of alumina production by the Bayer process sharply increases. With the increasingly fierce competition in the alumina industry and the gradual reduction in bauxite grade, when the A/S ratio drops to 3-4, the Bayer process is challenging to meet the market competition and production requirements. In such cases, the alumina production by sintering method has a vast development prospect and application potential for low-grade bauxite ores. The low A/S ratio and the high iron oxide content are the difficulties in the alumina production by the sintering process. This work adopts the lime-soda sinter process for extracting alumina from bauxite samples (A/S ratio = 1.34 and 20.80% Fe2O3) of the Semirom mine in Iran. The effects of sintering parameters are investigated. The maximum alumina extraction (88%) was obtained by a CaO/SiO2 molar ratio of 1.2, Na2O/Al2O3 molar ratio of 0.9, and sintering temperature at 1250 °C for 80 min. Also 83% of alumina is extracted by decreasing the N/A ratio to 0.66, to decrease the sodium carbonate consumption for a more economical process. The sintered materials are leached with sodium carbonate solution, and aluminum hydroxide [Al(OH)3] is precipitated. Finally, pure alumina (Al2O3) is obtained with a purity of 98 % after calcination at 1200 °C for 2 hours.


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