The iron ore production has significantly expanded in recent years, owing to increasing steel demands in developing countries. However, the content of iron in ore deposits has deteriorated and low-grade iron ore has been processed. The fines resulting from the concentration process must be agglomerated for use in iron and steelmaking. This chapter shows the status of the pelletizing process with a special focus on binders. Bentonite is the most used binder due to favorable mechanical and metallurgical pellet properties, but it contains impurities especially silica and alumina. The importance of many researches concerning alternative binders is also discussed in this chapter. Better quality wet, dry, preheated, and fired pellets can be produced with combined binders, such as organic and inorganic salts, when compared with bentonite-bonded pellets. While organic binders provide sufficient wet and dry pellet strengths, inorganic salts provide the required preheated and fired pellet strengths.
Part of the book: Iron Ores and Iron Oxide Materials