Enrichment of iron from bauxite waste in chemical looping combustion

Neng Huang, Xin Gao, Ayokunle Omosebi, Dimitrios Koumoulis, Kunlei Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work reports a method and findings related to the enrichment of iron from bauxite waste (red mud) using chemical looping combustion (CLC). According to the results from X-ray Diffraction, X-ray Fluorescence, and scanning electron microscope–energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, uniformly distributed iron in the red mud particles migrated outward to the surface during the 148 redox cycles in a bubbling fluidized bed reactor, in which the size-reduced iron-oxide particles due to attrition are concentrated in filters. The concentrations of iron oxide in raw particles and attrition fines are 43 wt.% and 83–87 wt.%, respectively. Since the attrition in CLC is inevitable, this recycled iron oxide can be a valuable by-product to compensate for the cost of CLC, whereas the bed materials continue to participate in the CLC process. Moreover, the abundant bauxite waste can be processed in an eco-friendly manner for integrated power generation, carbon capture, and iron recovery by the proposed strategy in this work.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere17961
JournalAICHE Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Tristana Duvallet for the particle size analyses, Mr. Roger Perrone, Mr. Steve Summers, and Mr. John Adams for their maintenance of the FBR and Dr. Dali Qian, Dr. Feng Zhu, and Dr. Xiaoshuai Yuan for their valuable suggestions about material characterizations, and Ms. Lisa Richburg, Mr. Yuxuan Zhang, and Mr. Emmanuel Ohiomoba for proofreading. Neng Huang thanks the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for the financial support of Ph.D. study. This research also received internal support from the University of Kentucky.

Funding Information:
China Scholarship Council, Grant/Award Number: 201906420091; University of Kentucky Funding information

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.


  • attrition
  • bauxite waste
  • chemical looping combustion
  • iron enrichment
  • oxygen carrier

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering (all)


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