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J. Cent. South Univ.

(2015) 22: 3302−3310

DOI: 10.1007/s11771-015-2870-6

Effect of pyroxenite and olivine minerals as source of MgO in

hematite pellet on improvement of metallurgical properties

Jagannath Pal1, Satadal Ghorai1, Bikash Nandi2, Tapas Chakraborty2, Goutam Das1, T. Venugopalan2
1. CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur-831007, India;
2. Tata Steel, Jamshedpur-831001, India
© Central South University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Abstract: Pelletization of hematite ore requires high fineness and very high induration temperature (~1325 °C) owing to its poor
diffusion bonding unlike magnetite ore. Further, high-alumina hematite pellets show very high reduction degradation index (RDI)
during low temperature (500−650 °C) reduction due to their volume expansion and lattice distortion. Noamundi (India) hematite ore
contains very high Al2O3 (2.3%) with adverse ratio of alumina to silica (~2) for which, it shows very high RDI. In this work, the acid
pellets prepared from Noamundi ore fines of optimum Blaine fineness show good cold crushing strength (CCS). However, it shows
very high RDI (77%). In order to reduce RDI, MgO in form of two different gangue-containing fluxes, such as pyroxenite and olivine
in varying quantities has been added. The optimum requirement and performance of these fluxes has been examined and compared.
Both pyroxenite and olivine fluxed pellets show significant lowering of RDI (26% and 23%, respectively) and improvement of other
properties, viz CCS, swelling indices etc with good reducibility (70%−77%). Finally, a good quality acidic hematite pellet was
developed from high-alumina ore without using any lime which is very important charge material in combination of basic sinter in
blast furnace.

Key words: hematite pellet; high-alumina ore; reduction degradation index (RDI); pyroxenite flux; olivine flux; effect of MgO

lattice distortion during transformation of hematite to

1 Introduction magnetite and show very high reduction degradation
index (RDI).
At present, most of the blast furnaces worldwide are The reduction of RDI of hematite ore pellets has
using heat hardened pellets in varying proportion been studied using MgO bearing fluxes such as
replacing lump ore and sinter and thus, pelletization is in pyroxenite [1−2], olivine [3−4], magnesite [5−7],
increasing demand. Improvement in quality of pellets dolomite [8−10] and all of them found that MgO in iron
such as physical, chemical and physico-chemical ore pellet can decrease the RDI and swelling index and
properties is essential to get smooth operation of blast increase the reducibility. Sometimes CCS has also been
furnace and satisfactory production. improved by MgO bearing fluxes. It also increases the
Several investigators have tried to improve quality softening melting temperature of pellet, resulting in
of iron ore pellets by up gradation of iron ore, controlling improvement in permeability of blast furnace burden in
fineness, adding fluxes etc. Addition of flux may downstream process [10]. The several MgO bearing
improve the pellet properties by forming a suitable slag fluxes have different effects on the pellet properties due
bonding and nullifying the bad effect of other gangue to their different gangue contents. On the other hand, the
oxides like alumina, while in magnetite pellets, some properties of any specific MgO bearing flux vary with
heat inside pellet is generated due to the exothermic the quality and character of ore used in pelletization.
oxidation of Fe3O4 to Fe2O3 during induration that helps Though the effects of several MgO bearing fluxes have
to enhance strength; in hematite pellet this in-situ heat is been studied by the above investigators with different
not available. Therefore, hematite ore requires high sources of iron ore, there is hardly any study to compare
fineness and very high induration temperature (above the effect of different MgO sources on a single ore.
1300 °C). Further, the hematite pellets with very high Noamundi iron ore shows very high RDI due to its
alumina degrade severely during low temperature very high alumina with adverse ratio alumina to silica
(550−650 °C) reduction due to the volume expansion and (Al2O3/SiO2=1.87) [2]. As the silica content of this ore is

Received date: 2014−11−07; Accepted date: 2015−02−19

Corresponding author: Jagannath Pal, PhD; Tel: +91−6572345240; Fax: +91−6572345213; E-mail:
J. Cent. South Univ. (2015) 22: 3302−3310 3303
low, any MgO bearing flux with high silica may be bentonite in a rotary cone mixer. The bentonite was from
suitable for reduction in RDI. Therefore, two important Kachchh region of India whose chemical compositions
flux materials available in form of magnesio silicate with are presented in Table 4. The mixture was then pelletized
wide difference in gangue oxide (SiO2) content have with intermittent manual spray of water (7%−9%) for
been chosen to reduce the RDI of this high-alumina nucleation and growth of pellets in a disc pelletizer
hematite ore aiming to compare their effects on pellet having 700 mm disk diameter with 30 r/min speed. The
properties and optimum levels of their requirements for pellet size was maintained between 8 mm and 16 mm. In
development of good quality acidic pellets without using order to improve the pellet properties, flux materials, viz
any lime. pyroxenite/olivine, was added as the source of MgO. The
chemical compositions of pyroxenite and olivine are
2 Experimental listed in Table 5. After preparation, the green pellets were
discharged and subjected to tests, viz green compressive
In this work, iron ore fines of Noamundi, India were strength (GCS), green drop strength number (GDSN),
used. Table 1 shows the chemical compositions and dry compressive strength (DCS) and moisture content.
Table 2 shows the size distribution of as-received The codes of the pellets made with varying MgO fluxes
Noamundi ore. To make it suitable for pelletization, dry are listed in Table 6. Effect of MgO in form of
iron ore was ground for varying time to different size pyroxenite and olivine was studied using D group iron
fractions in a ball mill with batch size of 13.5 kg using ore fines except one with F group.
111 kg of steel balls. Several batches of ore were ground Green compressive strength (GCS) was measured
with varying time. just after making green pellets using Hounsfield material
Fine size distribution (sieve analysis) and Blaine testing machine. The green drop strength number (GDSN)
fineness (specific surface area) measured in Blaine was conventionally measured by repeatedly dropping an
permeability apparatus as per standard: ASTM C-204, individual green pellet upon a mild steel plate from a
2007 for the ground product used for making different conventional height of 450 mm. The number of drops
pellets along with their codes are presented in Table 3. accepted by the pellets before breaking was termed as
The sized iron ore fines were mixed with 0.5% GDSN. The green pellets were dried in an oven at 110 ºC

Table 1 Chemical analysis of ore fines (mass fraction, %)

Fetot Fe2O3 FeO SiO2 Al2O3 P S CaO LOI
64.17 91.76 0.68 1.21 2.27 0.082 0.082 0.15 4.0

Table 2 Initial size fraction of iron ore fines (mass fraction, %)

>10 mm 6.35−10 mm 5−6.35 mm 3.15−5 mm 1−3.15 mm <1 mm
3.1 14.5 5.4 19.0 26.8 30.9

Table 3 Size fraction and Blaine fineness of iron ore used after grinding
Blaine Size fraction (BS mesh)/%
Fines Group Code
fineness/(cm2·g−1) <72 72−100 100−150 150−200 200−240 240−350 >350
C 2041 17.8 11.1 6.2 5.2 3.1 4.4 52.1
D 2145 10.8 10 7 6.5 5.4 4.1 55.8
E 2392 9.9 10.7 6.2 5.7 2.3 3.1 62
F 3456 6 3.2 3.1 1.7 2.4 3.4 80

Table 4 Chemical analysis of bentonite used (mass fraction, %)

SiO2 Al2O3 FeO Fe2O3 CaO MgO Na2O Moisture
60.84 17.81 1.92 3.1 0.94 2.57 1.6 9.59

Table 5 Chemical compositions of fluxes used (mass fraction, %)

Flux material MgO CaO SiO2 Al2O3 Fe2O3 Cr2O3 Mn LOI
Pyroxenite 28.5 - 52.66 0.16 9.09 1.05 0.08
Olivine 47.0 - 39.2 0.7 - - 0.3 10
3304 J. Cent. South Univ. (2015) 22: 3302−3310
Table 6 Kinds of pellets and amount of additives in pellet mix
Pellet group (Group Code) Fines used Flux used w(Bentonite)/% w(Pyroxenite)/% w(Olivine)/% w(Equivalent MgO in pellets)/%
C C No Flux 0.5 0 0 0
D D No Flux 0.5 0 0 0
E E No Flux 0.5 0 0 0
F F No Flux 0.5 0 0 0
D.5.03p D Pyroxenite 0.5 1.05 0 0.3
D.5.06p D Pyroxenite 0.5 2.11 0 0.6
D.5.09p D Pyroxenite 0.5 3.16 0 0.9
D.5.12p D Pyroxenite 0.5 4.21 0 1.2
D.5.03ov D Olivine 0.5 0 0.64 0.3
D.5. 06ov D Olivine 0.5 0 1.28 0.6
D.5. 09ov D Olivine 0.5 0 1.91 0.9
D.5. 12ov D Olivine 0.5 0 2.55 1.2

for 4 h. The moisture content of pellet was measured phases and pores had been measured by the image
from the mass loss of the representative green pellet analysis software.
sample (20−25 g) due to heating in an oven at 110 °C for
4 h until constant mass was observed. Dry compressive 3 Results and discussion
strengths (DCS) of oven dried pellets were also
measured in Hounsfield material testing machine. 3.1 Acid pellet without MgO flux
The pellets were indurated (in varying capacity of Properties of green pallets made with varying
0.1 kg to 1.8 kg per batch) in an electrically heated fineness are shown in Table 7. All pellets show the green
chamber furnace (Mo−Si2 heating element) of hot zone and dry pellets properties within the industrially
400 mm×300 mm×300 mm in varying temperature and acceptable range (acceptable; GCS: 22 N/pellet DCS: 1.0
induration time using Inconel/mullite crucible. kg/pellet, GDSN: 5 Nos, respectively) [11]. The CCS of
Cold crushing strength (CCS) of indurated pellets the same pellets indurated at 1325 °C is shown in Fig. 1.
was measured using Honsfield’s materials testing The figure depicts that CCS increases with increase in
machine (Model: H 10K-S) as per standard: IS: Blaine fineness. This is because the smaller hematite
8625−1986. Both apparent porosity (standard IS: 1528, particles (<15 μm) tend to disappear on firing at high
part-VIII-1974) and bulk density (standard IS: 1528, temperature and recrystallize into larger hematite
part-XII-1974) of indurated pellets were measured in granules, which act as bridges, bonding together particles
kerosene medium. of neighbouring larger size and impart strength to the
Reducibility index (RI) of pellets was measured as pellets [12]. Thus, the increase in small size particles in
per standard: JIS: M 8713−2000. For measuring the pellet feed material led to an increase in bridge
swelling index (SI) the pellets were reduced as per formation and resulted in better CCS. The pellets with
standard: JIS: M 8713−2000. After 3 h of reduction in high Blaine fineness therefore show higher CCS. Further,
gas of 30% CO and 70% N2 at 900 °C, volume change of the effect of Blaine fineness on CCS is high in lower
pellet was measured by mercury displacement method. Blaine region (Fig. 1), indicating that amount of bridge
RDI of several indurated pellets was measured as per formation by disappearance of small size particles and
standard: JIS: M 8720−2001. recrystallization of larger granules at firing temperature
In order to study the existence of several phases, increases significantly with increasing Blaine fineness in
X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses of selected indurated the lower range of Blaine fineness below 2145 cm2/g and
pellets after making powders of it (≤0.15 mm) were after that it does not increase significantly. At this point,
carried out for phase analysis by a Siemens D500 X-ray the CCS could be achieved up to 240 kg/pellet, which
diffractometer using Cu-Kα radiation. The scanning appears to be a good strength and would be acceptable
speed was maintained at 2, 1 (°)/min. Existence of for blast furnace operation. Therefore, the physico-
several phases was identified by JCPDS files. Selected chemical properties of the pellet made with the iron ore
samples were polished and observed under the optical of Blaine fineness 2145 cm2/g are examined and listed in
microscope (Make: Leica). The area fractions of several Table 8.
J. Cent. South Univ. (2015) 22: 3302−3310 3305
Table 7 Properties of green pellets without MgO flux with varying fineness
Pellet Group Code Blaine No. w(Bentonite)/% w(Moisture)/% GCS/(kg·pellet−1) GDSN DCS/(kg·pellet−1)
C 2041 0.5 9.0 1.10 11 3.2
D 2145 0.5 9.1 1.25 12 3.5
E 2392 0.5 8.8 1.21 10 3.4
F 3456 0.5 8.8 1.28 11 2.8

The resulting high ratio of Al2O3/SiO2 (~1.87) may be

attributed to high RDI in acid pellet.
Owing to the high RDI value, it may create
permeability loss, hanging and production loss. RDI
value may be decreased by addition of suitable flux
material and formation of good slag bond. In this regard
MgO addition was considered because MgO has a role of
stabilizing magnetite. Increasing MgO content leads to
more magnetite and therefore less hematite in sinter/
pellet [14] may cause less strain in pellet during
reduction. The beneficial effect of MgO has also been
observed by DAS et al [16] when magnesium silicates
are used with low silica containing iron ore. Since
Fig. 1 Effect of fineness on CCS of indurated acid pellets Noamundi ore contains very low SiO2 (1.21 %), two
without any flux magnesium bearing fluxes were targeted, one is
pyroxenite and other is olivine, in this study.
Table 8 Physico-chemical properties of acid pellets
Pellet group Induration RDI Swelling 3.2 Effect of MgO flux
code temperature/°C (<3.15 mm)/% index In order to make it suitable for blast furnace,
D 1325 79 77.6 19.18 attempt was made to decrease the RDI by incorporating
MgO through addition of varying quantity of either
RI (77%) has been found to be excellent. Swelling pyroxenite or olivine. Accordingly, pyroxenite or olivine
index was found to be around 19%, which may be fines <0.074 mm were added with iron ore to get the
acceptable for BF iron making. The pellet shows very varying desired composition of MgO (0.3%−1.2%) in
high RDI of about 77%. Owing to very high RDI, the pellet as listed in Table 6. The Blaine fineness of iron ore
acid pellet from Noamundi ore fines may create problem fines for these experiments was kept constant at 2145
for use in blast furnace. The possible reason for this high cm2/g (Fines D). The properties of green and dry pellets
RDI is as follows. are presented in Table 9. All properties of green pellets
When hematite ore is reduced at low temperature are good and above acceptable level. No significant
(500−650 °C), hexagonal hematite transforms into cubic change in green pellet properties has been observed
magnetite. Around 24% volume expansion happened either for pyroxenite addition or for olivine addition.
[13]. During volume expansion, due to severe lattice CCS values of both pyroxenite and olivine fluxed
distortion, internal stress is developed and acts towards indurated (1325 °C) pellets, are 290 kg/pellet and
certain planes. Cracks happen in brittle matrix especially 275 kg/pellet (0.9% MgO), respectively, as shown in
at grain boundaries. LU et al [14] showed that the Fig. 2, which are much higher than those of the pellet
presence of alumina as solute in hematite is responsible without any flux (240 kg/pellet) at identical conditions
for high RDI. PIMENTA and SESHADRI [15] explained (Fig. 1). This is because of recrystallization of hematite
that hematite containing alumina generates a magnetite as discussed above along with slag bond formation in the
phase with distorted structure, during low temperature presence of fluxes. The EPMA-EDS analyses of
reduction, which, together, with the structural indurated pellets fluxed with pyroxenite and olivine are
deformation resulting from volumetric change of the shown in Fig. 3 and Table 10. Further, CCS increases
hematite crystal, can promote crack initiation and with increase in MgO for both pyroxenite fluxed and
propagation in the sinter, leading to disintegration. olivine fluxed pellets (Fig. 2). Both pyroxenite and olivine
Silica may decrease the degradation during contain silica in significant quantity as gangue material.
reduction of pellet by formation of stable silicate phase. These gangue materials make slag bonding at induration
However, silica content of this ore is very low (1.21%). temperature and enhance the bond strength; while
3306 J. Cent. South Univ. (2015) 22: 3302−3310
Table 9 Green and dry properties for fluxed pellets
Pellet group code w(MgO)/% w(Moisture)/% GCS/(kg·pellet−1) GDSN DCS/(kg·pellet−1)
D.5.03p 0.3 9.1 1.25 15 3.3
D.5.06p 0.6 9.4 1.26 16 4.5
D.5.09p 0.9 9.3 1.22 17 4.3
D.5.12p 0.12 9.2 1.21 16 3.2
D.5.03ov 0.3 9.5 1.12 18 3.8
D.5. 06ov 0.6 9.6 1.05 19 3.7
D.5. 09ov 0.9 9.5 1.32 16 4.2
D.5. 12ov 0.12 9.5 1.20 18 3.8

Table 10 EDS analyses of pellet indurated at 1325 °C

Mass fraction/%
O Mg Al Si Fe
Pyroxenite fluxed pellet 38.21 0.75 1.74 2.35 59.05
Olivine fluxed pellet 35.14 0.68 1.54 1.89 60.75

formation of slag phase like (Mg−Fe)SiO3 has been

found in XRD pattern of pyroxenite pellets, in the acid
pellet without flux no such phase has been found as
shown in the Fig. 4. Olivine fluxed pellet also contains
more or less same phases as pyroxenite fluxed pellet as
Fig. 2 Effect of MgO (pyroxenite and olivine) on CCS of shown in Fig. 5. Figures 6(a)−(c) show the optical
indurated pellets microstructure of the indurated acid pellet (D), indurated
pyroxenite pellet (D.5.09p) and olivine pellet (D.5.9ov).
In the microstructure of pellet D.5.09p and D.5.9ov,
higher amount of slag phases are found between the
hematite grains than pellet D. The area percent of several
phases obtained from optical micrographs is listed in
Table 11. Higher amount of slag phases are found in the
0.9% MgO pellet than acid pellet without MgO. Thus,
due to the enhanced slag bonding, CCS increases with
increase in MgO content of pellet through pyroxenite and
olivine addition.
The microstructure in Fig. 6 and its area analysis
(Table 11) also shows that the amount of slag phase in
pyroxenite fluxed pellet is more than the olivine fluxed
pellet because of higher gangue in pyroxenite than
olivine. The EDS analysis of indurated pellets (Fig. 3)
also indicates higher amount of silica in pyroxenite than
olivine. Thus, due to the fact that the lower amount of
gangue and less slag formation pore area in olivine pellet
is more than the pyroxenite pellet, apparent porosity and
bulk density (Table 12) are similar in both. This may be
due to higher amount closed pores in olivine pellet. This
higher amount of slag phase in pyroxenite pellet and
lower pore area may be the reason of little higher
strength in it than olivine fluxed pellet (Fig. 2).
Fig. 3 Micrographs and EDS analysis (whole area under EPMA) MgO fluxed pellet shows much higher strength
of pellet indurated at 1325 °C: (a) Pyroxenite fluxed pellet; (b) when induration temperature was increased to 1350 °C
Olivine fluxed pellet (Fig. 2). The enhancement of recrystallization of
J. Cent. South Univ. (2015) 22: 3302−3310 3307

Fig. 5 XRD patterns of 0.9% MgO-fluxed pellets (indurated at

1325 °C) with two different sources: (a) Pyroxenite pellet; (b)
Olivine pellet

increase in MgO content in both the pyroxenite and

olivine fluxed pellet. This may be attributed to the
formation of slag phases surrounding the hematite phases
(Figs. 5 and 6) due to the presence of silica in pyroxenite
and olivine and decreasing the apparent porosity of pellet
as listed in Table 12. It may be noted that pyroxenite has
high percentage of silica than olivine. Thus, for the same
level of MgO, SiO2 input with pyroxenite is higher than
olivine. Therefore, decrease of RI (0.9% MgO level) is
Fig. 4 XRD patterns of indurated (1325 °C) pellets with much higher in pyroxenite fluxed pellet, though a little
varying pyroxenite: (a) Pyroxenite pellet of 1.2% MgO; decrease is also observed in olivine pellet (0.6% MgO
(b) Pyroxenite pellet of 0.9% MgO; (c) Acid pellet level).
The increasing of RI beyond certain amount of
hematite at higher temperature may be the one reason. In MgO level (0.9% for pryroxenite and 06% for olivine)
XRD study (Fig. 4), the MgO containing slag phases has for both pyroxenite and olivine fluxed pellet possibly
been found in the MgO fluxed pellet. This MgO attributed to the formation of slag phases with higher
containing slag has high melting temperature. Therefore, amount of MgO and magnesio ferrite (MgFe2O4) spinel
at higher temperature slag becomes more fluid and better phase (Figs. 4 and 5) formation, which have very high
distributed surrounding the grains, resulting in melting points and make the slag viscous at induration
enhancement of slag phase. This may be the one more temperature and may create more porous structure,
reason of getting higher strength at high temperature. favourable for good RI. Thus, in the presence of high
Effect of pyroxenite and olivine on reducibility silica and comparatively less viscous slag formation,
index is presented in Fig. 7. Initially, RI decreases with pyroxenite pellet shows lower RI than olivine pellets for
3308 J. Cent. South Univ. (2015) 22: 3302−3310
Table 12 Apparent porosity and bulk density of pellet indurated
at 1325 °C
Pellet Apparent porosity/% Bulk density/(g·cm−3)
Pyroxenite fluxed
19.36 3.76
pellet D.5.09p
Olivine fluxed
19.31 3.75
pellet D.5.09ov
Acid pellet D 22.7 3.76

Fig. 7 Effect of pyroxenite and olivine on RI of indurated pellet

Fig. 6 Optical microstructure of pellets indurated at 1325 °C

(White: Hematite grains; Light grey: Magnesio silicate; Dark
grey: Slag; Black: Pore): (a) Acid pellet D; (b) Pyroxenite
fluxed (0.9% MgO, pellet D.5.09p); (c) Olivine fluxed (0.9%
Fig. 8 Effect of pyroxenite and olivine on swelling index of
MgO, pellet D.5.09ov)
indurated pellets

Table 11 Area percentage of different phases in indurated

provides sufficient bonding strength even at high
temperature during reduction, and withstands the
Area fraction/%
Induration reduction stress. The pyroxenite fluxed pellet shows
Pellet Iron oxide Silicate/slag
temperature/°C Pore lower swelling index than olivine flux pellet for the same
phase phase
level of MgO. This may be due to high silica content; the
Acid pellet D 1325 77.02 5.36 17.62
slag distributes more uniformly in pyroxenite pellet and
D.5.09p 1325 62.51 11.38 26.1 gives less porous structure than the olivine as shown in
D.5.09ov 1325 57.54 8.47 33.98 Fig. 6. This makes the slag bond stronger. Though the
Area fraction is estimated from optical micrographs. swelling index is higher in olivine pellet than the
pyroxenite pellet, it is well within the acceptable limit.
similar level of MgO. RDI values of both pyroxenite and olivine pellet
Swelling index also decreases with increase in decrease sharply with increase in MgO content as shown
pyroxenite and olivine (MgO) content of pellet as shown in Fig. 9. In the XRD peaks (Figs. 4 and 5), mainly four
in Fig. 8. MgO produces high melting point slag which types of phases have been found in pyroxenite and in
J. Cent. South Univ. (2015) 22: 3302−3310 3309
olivine fluxed pellets viz Fe2O3, Al−Fe−SiO2−O, (52.7%) than olivine (39%). Thus, in order to maintain
MgFe2O4 and (Mg.Fe)SiO3 whereas, last two phases similar level of MgO, 2.2 times SiO2 input occur when
were not found in acid pellets. The above phases are pyroxenite is used in place of olivine. Therefore, when
produced during induration and provide bonding silica in iron ore is comparatively high, olivine is the
between the grains. It is explained earlier that hematite better option than pyroxenite and vice versa. Thus, the
bonds are strong but, in reducing atmosphere it reduces selection of its use depends upon the plants requirements,
to magnetite with volume expansion and lattice distortion type of iron ore and availability of these fluxes.
which makes it unsuitable. Magnesio ferrite and silicate This work developed pellets from Noamundi high-
bonds remain unaltered during reduction at low alumina hematite ore using pyroxenite or olivine as
temperature and withstand the stress due to expansion of fluxed material without addition of any lime. MgO-
hematite grains and prevent degradation. In pyroxenite fluxes have been used along with limestone for the
fluxed pellet, sharp decrease of RDI has been found for purpose of lowering RDI [1, 6]. However, acidic pellet
addition level of MgO up to 0.9%, where RDI value is without limestone in the present process would have a
around 27% and it becomes around 26% at 1.2% MgO great importance in blast furnace operation in view of its
level, namely beyond 0.9% MgO, improvement is very charging together with highly basic sinter.
marginal. However, in olivine fluxed pellet, RDI
monotonically decreases to very low level (22.5%) for
4 Conclusions
addition level of MgO up to 1.2% MgO. This indicates
that at higher percentage of MgO level the olivine is the
1) Acid pellet made from Noamundi hematite ore
better flux material than pyroxenite from RDI point of
shows good green properties and CCS; however, due to
view though pyroxenite also lowers RDI (26%) of
its high alumina to silica ratio (1.87), it shows poor RDI
hematite pellet up to bellow the acceptable limit in blast
(78%) and it is not usable in blast furnace.
furnace. Overall the results indicate that the MgO level
2) RDI of the high-alumina hematite pellets have
in hematite pellet either through pyroxenite or olivine
been lowered up to 27% and 22% by adding pyroxenite
should be within 0.9%−1.2%.
and olivine as source of MgO, respectively.
3) Other properties of pellet are improved CCS
increases to 275 and 290 kg/pellet and swelling index
decreases to 8% and 14% with olivine and pyroxenite
addition, respectively. Although, RI slightly decreases
from 79% (without flux) to around 74% and 77% for the
olivine and pyroxenite addition, respectively, the
obtained RI values of pellets in both the fluxed
conditions remains satisfactory for their use in blast
4) Some differences in effects of these two MgO-
fluxes on pellet properties have been observed, while
pyroxenite fluxed pellet shows higher CCS and lower
swelling indices than olivine pellet due to its high silica
Fig. 9 Effect of pyroxenite and olivine on swelling index of content. Olivine fluxed pellet shows higher reducibility
indurated pellets and lower RDI at the high level of MgO (0.9%).
5) The developed MgO-fluxed pellets (0.9%−1.2%
Both olivine and pyroxenite improve the pellet MgO level) without using any lime show good pellets
properties in terms of increasing CCS, decreasing properties with very low RDI and are found to be
swelling index and RDI. Olivine fluxed pellet shows suitable for blast furnace use. Both pyroxenite and
better reducibility than pyroxenite fluxed pellet. Though olivine fluxes can be used suitably with this high alumina
pyroxenite shows better performance in improving CCS hematite ore for this purpose. However, due to the
and lowering swelling indices than olivine pellet, it differences in effects of these two MgO fluxes, their
shows comparatively higher RDI. However, it is within selection depends upon the plant’s requirements, type of
the acceptable range in blast furnace. It has been iron ore and availability of these fluxes.
mentioned earlier that olivine has more MgO content
(1.65 times that of pyroxenite) than pyroxenite (Table 5), Acknowledgements
namely each gram of olivine is equivalent to 1.65 g of Authors thankfully acknowledge the management of
pyroxenite. Further, pyroxenite has more amount of SiO2 Tata Steel, Jamshedpur, India for financially supporting
3310 J. Cent. South Univ. (2015) 22: 3302−3310
this investigation, and express their sincere gratitude to hematite pellets [J]. International Journal of Mineral Processing,
2012, 112−113: 55−62.
Dr. S. Srikanth, Director, CSIR-National Metallurgical
[7] ZHU D, CHUN T, PAN J, ZHANG J. Influence of basicity and
Laboratory for encouraging this work and according MgO content on metallurgical performances of Brazilian specularite
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(Edited by YANG Hua)
MgO in the form of magnesite on the quality and microstructure of