Treatment of iron ore slime for value addition
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Typical Indian iron ore slime in a steel plant contains 56% iron, 6.78% Al(2)O(3) and 5.8% SiO(2). Value addition to this reject / waste material has been investigated using chemical treatment and electrowinning. Two alternate chemical treatment routes have been explored: (i) acid extraction of iron followed by alkali treatment and (ii) alkali extraction of aluminum oxide and silica from iron ore slime. Alkali extraction improved iron content up to 65% w/w. Acid extraction could improve the same up to 63% w/w. Electrowinning of iron from oxalic acid solution using steel cathode and a lead anode, surrounded by a synthetic cloth diaphragm, produces high purity iron deposits on the cathode surface. Chemically treated iron ore slime is suitable for iron production using blast furnace whereas the elemental iron produced by electrowinning can be used directly for steelmaking. Along with the process details, a preliminary calculation of the economics of the two processes has been presented. (C) 2010 Elsevier By. .
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