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Phosphorus movement through sands modified by red mud

Kayaalp, M., Ho, G.ORCID: 0000-0001-9190-8812, Mathew, K. and Newman, P.W.G. (1988) Phosphorus movement through sands modified by red mud. Water, 15 . pp. 26-29.

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Field and laboratory column experiments show that red mud (waste from bauxite refining) neutralised with gypsum increases Phosphorus (P) sorption capacity of sandy soils. Some 1.68 g P/ kg RMG (red mud neutralised by 50% gypsum) was sorbed from 9.5 mg/ L P solution during a continuous flow of 50 cm/d for 750 pore volumes. Batch tests indicate almost no desorption of sorbed P, however during continuous flow leaching, a total of 14% of the sorbed P was desorbed. During flooding – drying cycles of laboratory columns, with secondary effluent, 91% P removal occurred through 30% RMG (30% RMG, 70% Bassendean sand mixture), and 63% removal through 20% RMG, both with some more capacity to sorb P; whereas 10% RMG continued to sorb P at 50% efficiency even after the calculated sorption capacity was exhausted. Initially previously sorbed P in soil would be leached out by the alkaline leachate from red mud incorporated above it. In general the potential for P removal by renovated soils seems high.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Australian Water Association
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