Red mud-molten salt composites for medium-high temperature thermal energy storage and waste heat recovery applications

Argyrios Anagnostopoulos*, Maria Elena Navarro, Maria Stefanidou, Yulong Ding, Georgios Gaidajis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Red mud (RM) is an industrial waste of the aluminum industry with presently estimated worldwide legacy-site stockpiles of 4 billion tones. RM is typically disposed in the sea, dams or dykes, posing a significant environmental hazard due to its high alkalinity and traces of heavy metals. Despite recent valorization efforts, only 15% of RM deposits are currently utilized. In this work, a novel use of RM to formulate composite phase change materials (CPCMs) is proposed. The CPCM is formulated by milling nitrate salts with RM, compressing and subsequent sintering of the two. Overall good performance over the temperature range of 25–400 ℃ is observed. Maximum latent heat of the CPCMs is 58 J/g, while average thermal conductivity and Cp are in the range of 0.77–0.83 W/mK and 1.03–1.31 J/g ℃, respectively. No variations in the melting point or latent heat are observed after 48 cycles. Energy storage density is calculated to be up to 1396 MJ/m3. The working temperature of this novel CPCM make it ideal for waste heat recovery of medium-high temperature waste heat streams providing a valorization pathway and valorization for RM as a by-product for energy-related applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125407
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Early online date17 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge partial financial support from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council ( EPSRC) under grants EP/V012053/1 , EP/S032622/1 , EP/P004709/1 and EP/T022981/1 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Composite
  • Molten salt
  • Phase change
  • Red mud
  • Thermal energy storage
  • Waste heat recovery
  • Waste management
  • Waste valorization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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