Use of Red Mud as Addition for Portland Cement Mortars

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The aim of the present research work was to investigate the possibility of adding red mud, an alkaline leaching waste that is obtained from bauxite during the Bayer process for alumina production, in the raw meal of Portland cement mortars. The red mud is classified as dangerous, according to NBR 10004/2004, and world while generation reached over 117 million tons/year. This huge production requires high consuming products to be used as incorporation matrix and we studied the influence of red mud addition on the characteristics of cement mortars and concrete. In this paper the properties of Portland cement mortars incorporating high amounts of red mud was evaluated: pH variation, fresh (setting time, workability or normal consistency and water retention), and hardened state (mechanical strength, capillary water absorption, density and apparent porosity). Results seem promising for red mud additions up to 20wt%.