The production of alumina from bauxite requires efficient separation of red mud residue in gravity thickeners to generate pregnant liquor with low solid content. As the quality of bauxite reserves continues to decrease due to increasing levels of reactive silica, more efficient flocculants are needed to prevent these solid-liquid separations from becoming production bottlenecks and increasing costs for alumina producers.
Of particular concern is the decreasing performance of flocculants when high levels of desilication product (DSP) are produced in the Bayer process, which have been determined to be bound directly to the surface of Bauxite residue solids.
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