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Iron ore

Quantitative X-ray mineralogy of iron-ore helps to extract the valuable content. Knowing the ore composition reduces greenhouse gas emission, and reduces waste.

Mine the valuable

XRD identifies the amount and type of the commercially valuable iron species in ore. Hematite, magnetite, goethite, and others are measured for general quality and grade control of run-off mine material.

Mining the high-grade ore reduces the amount of waste rock, saves energy and fuel.

Don’t process waste

The gangue – ore components of no commercial value – has to be removed before processing. XRD finds typical gangue minerals: silica and alumina from quartz, clay, mica, feldspar, or carbonates. They may be removed in the beneficiation by washing, or magnetic or gravity separation, before further processing of the ore. The most profitable, selective mining becomes possible by identifying regions of low- or high-grade ore in the mine.

Ore and more

XRD measures a broad variety of materials in iron production: technical products such as mill scales, directly reduced and hot briquetted iron (DRI and HBI), additives, slag and refractories.

 

Help others

XRD is complementary and competitive to other analytical methods. A strength of XRD is it´s sensitivity to fine particle fraction. The XRD sample preparation is quick and simple. Only XRD can distinguish polymorphs (e.g. TiO2 in the form of rutile or anatase) and polytypes (e.g. Muscovite 1M or 2M1).

XRF measures the concentration of major elements mostly from fused glass beads. Volatile components such as CO2, H2O, and OH, are lost in preparation (Loss on ignition, LOI). They need to be analyzed separately for a full quantification. XRD directly looks at the hydroxide and clays mineralogy in iron ore.

Save the climate

Raw iron producers are major greenhouse-gas pollutants. The CO2 footprint of a pig-iron plant is mainly governed by the overall oxidation state (Fe2+/Fe3+) of iron in the ore. The oxidation state determines the amount of reducing agent (coal) in raw iron production and is obtained from the mineralogy of the ore. XRD is not only fast but virtually operator independent, especially when compared to wet chemical methods such as titration.