What Is Red Mud?
CSIR- Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute (AMPRI) has recently converted red mud into X-ray shielding tiles.
- It has converted red mud into X-ray shielding tiles in a green and economically viable manner through a ceramic route by adding a certain weight percentage of high Z material and binder with it.
- These tiles can be used to build radiation shielding structures in diagnostic X-rays, CT scanner rooms, Cath labs, bone mineral density, dental X-rays, etc., instead of the toxic lead sheet to protect the public from radiation hazards.
- Red Mud is the waste generated in the Bayer process of alumina production from bauxite.
- It is also known as bauxite residue.
- Red Mud is defined as a “High Volume Low Effect Waste”.
- Nearly 1 to 1.5 tonnes of RM is being generated while producing one tonne of alumina from the bauxite ore through the Bayer process.
- It is considered to be toxic due to its extreme alkalinity and heavy element leaching.
- Annually about 175 million tonnes of red mud have been generated globally and stored in a specially designed clay-lined pond.
- Among that India is producing nearly 9 million tonnes of red mud every year.
- The clay-lined ponds often broke out and pollute soil, groundwater, and air and become fatal for both humans and wildlife.
- Red mud is one of the underutilized industrial wastes and getting accumulated over the years due to an increase in alumina production as well as inadequate technologies for its large-scale utilization.
- The red mud contains 30 – 55% of Fe2O3, which is suitable for attenuating high-energy ionizing radiations like X- and gamma rays.