Red mud (an aluminium industry waste) has received wide attention as an effective adsorbent for water pollution control, showing significant adsorption potential for the removal of various aquatic pollutants. In this review, an extensive list of red-mud-based adsorbents has been compiled and their adsorption capacities (maximum uptake value of the adsorbent for the pollutant or adsorbate being removed) for various aquatic pollutants (metal ions, dyes, phenolic compounds, inorganic anions) are presented. The review provides a summary of recent information obtained using batch studies and deals with the adsorption mechanisms involved. It is evident from the literature survey that red mud has been found to be efficient for the removal of various aquatic pollutants, especially arsenic and phosphate. However, there is still a need to investigate the practical utility of these adsorbents on a commercial scale.
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