Reutilisation of the red mud in brick manufacturing

Theme: Wealth out of Waste

Expected Pilot Duration: 6 Months

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Challenge Summary

Reutilisation of the red mud in brick manufacturing by reducing the pH level & leachability of the red-mud bricks to the acceptable limits as prescribed in the Indian Road Congress (IRC) guidelines.

Challenge Scenario

Red mud is a major waste produced during Alumina production. Yearly production of the waste in India is over 10 million MT per year. This brings in volume and stacking challenges. The end goal should be complete utilization/removal of the waste from VLL location.

Presently red mud is sent through a press filter at VLL location and is disposed off in a dry stacking manner. Hence, red mud poses an environmental liability. Generation: 3 million MT per year.

Red mud has the following composition: Fe2O3 , Al2O3 , V, Ga and Ti.

Red mud usage in bricks has not been possible due to the high pH value of red mud and leaching of multiple elements. pH of the red mud is in the range of 12-13, hence needs to be reduced to the acceptable range as prescribed by Indian Road Congress (IRC).

The scope of the pilot shall be to produce red-mud bricks and get the IRC approval with regards to using the brick as a construction material.

Profile of the end users

Bauxite residue utilization team

Looking at avenues for utilization of Bauxite residues as a construction material.

Solution Requirements

Material and energy analysis with regards to the day-to-day running of the processDeveloping the ideal raw material mix and procedure for translating the red mud into usable bricks for construction purposes.

Roadmap for final approval from IRC & other relevant government bodies for utilization of these bricks as a construction material.

Following criteria shall be taken into consideration for the resulting bricks from the pilot project:

  1. Crushing strength,
  2. water absorption,
  3. hardness,
  4. pH &
  5. Leaching

Conduct a market study regarding demand of bricks in areas surrounding Vedanta Alumina, Lanjigarh.

Environmental Constraint: : pH of the red mud is in the range of 12-13, hence special care needs to be taken regarding run-off and leaching. In all operations, HDPE liners should be used wherever red-mud is stored.

Expected Outcomes

1. Quantified Metrics & Outcomes:
Operational KPIs/Metrics Current Value Expected Target Value
pH of brick 12 < 8.5
Crushing strength, - 10.5 Mpa
Water absorption - < 5%
Leaching - No leaching of rare earth/hazardous elements
2.  ESG Impact:
ESG Metrics Expected Value/State
Utilization of red-mud >1.5 Kg of red mud / brick

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