Where is bauxite used?

What is bauxite?

As you know, diamond is a hard metal. Here, bauxite, which is among the hardest minerals after diamond, can be defined as a mineral with glass shine, different colors and its composition is aluminum oxide. It is also among the information we will give that it is a transparent material.

Where to use?

Of course, the usage areas differ. However, we can say that this varies according to the amount of mineral. According to the SiO2 in its content, bauxite may not even be considered as an ore. Generally, an ore with 2% and 3% SiO2 will not find a use in the aluminum industry.

  • Used in aluminum production
  • In addition to these, while there are some products obtained from bauxite, we can briefly mention them as follows.
    • synthetic mullite
    • high alumina fire brick
    • casting materials
    • While it is possible to use it for cement, iron-steel, brick, it is also used to fill the cavities of kiln bricks.
  • It is found in some chemicals obtained from bauxite. These are as follows.
    • Aluminum sulfate
    • sodium aluminate
    • Al-Chloride, used for crude oil
    • Aluminum Hydrate
  • While there are other consumption areas, it is also preferred in the production of sandpaper, emery wheels, stones used for sharpening. Being a hard mineral after diamond, it helps in abrasive production.
  • Finally, we can mention that it is also used in Ferrochrome plants to prevent slags.

First, let’s give brief information about bauxite minerals. Then, let’s share with you our research on where it is produced in the world and in our country.

What is bauxite?

While bauxite is generally found in an earthy and clay structure, it can also be found as massive, oolitic. This mineral, which has glass shine and transparent structure, is known as aluminum oxide composition. Bauxite, which is a mixture of some minerals, is considered the hardest metal after diamond. Light and hard, this mineral is found in gray and white, while some have yellow and red tones. While talking about that it consists of a mixture of minerals, the minerals found are as follows.

  • Diaspora
  • Aluminum
  • iron
  • Manganese hydroxides
  • Hydration

The extracted bauxite is used for the production of 90% aluminum. Aluminum production has an important place in bauxite minerals mined all over the world and in Turkey. In aluminum production, the lightness of the bauxite mineral is a very important factor.

 Where is it extracted?

In our country, bauxite is mined in certain regions. Some of them are as follows.

  • Konya – Seydisehir
  • Adana – Saimbeyli
  • Antalya – Akseki
  • Mugla – Milas
  • Zonguldak surroundings
  • in the western parts of the Taurus Mountains

Bauxite mineral has an important place in the world. According to the data of the Turkish Chamber of Mining Engineers, Australia, Guyana, Jamaica, Brazil, Suriname and Venezuela are the regions with the main production. It is said that 43 million tons of alumina was produced in 1997. While it is known that bauxite production in the whole world has been between 110 and 125 million tons in recent years, this production has been calculated annually.

Emery (Corundum)

Emery is a kind of rock, black or dark grey in color and used for the production of abrasive powder. The Word emery is referring EMERI Cape in Naxos Island / Greece where this mineral has first started to be consumed by human.

The major part of the emery consists of corundum (aluminium oxide) and trace amounts of iron bearing spinels, hernisite, magnesite and rutile (titanium mineral). Emery used in industry may contain synthetic additives namely magnesium, mullite and silica.

Emery in black or dark grey in color. Specific gravity of the mineral is approximately 3,5-3,8. This fluctuation in specific gravity arouses from the aboundance of side-minerals. Due to the same reason MOHS hardness of emery may alter. Although the MOHS hardness of corundum is typically 9, it may drop to 8 because of iron bearing spinels and sometimes even drops to 6 because of soft minerals such as magnesia in the structure.

Naturally comminuted emery (known as black sand) is used as abrasive material. It may be adhered to plates or paper. It may also be mixed to tarmac in order to increase traction and to harden the surface.

For almost last fifty years emery producing countries were Turkey and Greece but now, we may easily say that the only real emery producing country is Turkey.

Emery was mined in the east side of Naxos island for thousand years until a few decades ago but after the discovery of sintered carbide (which can also be used as abrasive), the demand to natural emery had a tendency to drop.

Supplied emery is majorly used in abrasive coating, production of abrasion-proof surfaces and roads in USA and in rice-polishing in Asian countries.

Usage Areas 

  • Stone cutting, metal polishing and finishing.
  • Clearing stone surfaces, polishing and rough grinding of mirror glass.
  • Production of grinding disks.
  • Production of sandpaper
  • Production of non-slippery surfaces (floor, pavement, road etc.)
  • Concrete hardening

Bauxite

Bauxite is a mineral which can be described as a mixture of aluminum oxides and hydroxites. It has a MOHS hardness of 1-3 and specific gravity of 2,5-3,5 g/cm3. Bauxite is of great importance as it is used in aluminium production. Almost 90% of world bauxite  is produced via open-pit mining and 85-90% of this production is  consumed in  aluminium and alumina production. Additionaly this mineral is used in chemistry, refractory, abrasive production, Calcium aluminate cement industries and in Iron&Steel production as a slag conditioner.