The role of different minerals from red mud assemblage in Co(II) sorption mechanism

Aleksandra S. Milenković, IIvana D. Smičiklas, N. Bundaleski, O. M. N. D. Teodoro, Djordje N. Veljović, Nikola S. Vukelić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A range of industrial by-products are currently under the consideration as cost-effective alternatives to conventional sorbent materials for environmental clean-up and remediation applications. Bauxite residue (red mud) has demonstrated exceptionally high potential for the immobilization of cationic pollutants. Due to heterogeneity of such material, determination of the role of individual mineral phases in the overall sorption mechanism is a challenging task. To enlighten the mechanism of Co(II) sorption by mineral assemblage of the red mud, sequential extraction analysis of Co-loaded sample was combined with the microscopic and spectroscopic studies performed by Scanning Field Emission Electron Microscope (FE-SEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). Sorbed Co(II) ions were found associated with operationally defined Fe,Mn-oxide and carbonate/acid soluble fractions. Binding of Co(II) by the red mud was achieved primarily by means of chemisorption/surface precipitation on Fe- and Ti-oxides. In coexistence with these highly selective surfaces, gibbsite and silica appeared to be low affinity sites for Co(II). Incongruent dissolution of sodalite phase was detected, indicating that its function was not to ensure sorption centers, but to increase the solution pH creating favorable environment for Co(II) binding by Fe- and Ti-oxides. The results demonstrate high stability of sorbed Co(II) and synergistic action of mineral constituents as essentially important property for red mud implementation as a purifying and remediation agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-20
Number of pages13
JournalColloids And Surfaces A-Physicochemical And Engineering Aspects
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2016


  • Co(II)
  • Red mud
  • Sequential extraction
  • Sorption mechanism
  • XPS


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