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Review of organic binders for iron ore concentrate agglomeration

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2014, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 73-94

Halt, J.A.; Kawatra, S.K.


Low-grade iron ores are finely ground and processed to recover iron-bearing minerals. However, the iron-rich powder is too fine to be used directly in blast furnaces and most direct reduction furnaces, and must be agglomerated or pelletized into a usable product called “pellets.” Bentonite clay has traditionally been used as a binder to make iron ore concentrate pellets, but it is expensive and contaminates the pellets. Organic binders may be a viable alternative to bentonite clay. This manuscript reviews organic materials that have been used to make iron ore concentrate pellets. Included are discussions on the development of organic binders, common pros and cons to organic binder use, organic binder structure and its effects on agglomeration, and additives to organic binders.