Understanding Pellets and Pellet Plant Operations Mar21

Understanding Pellets and Pellet Plant Operations...

Understanding Pellets and Pellet Plant Operations Pelletizing is an agglomeration process which converts very fine grained iron ore into balls of a certain diameter range (normally 8mm to 20 mm, also known as pellets. These pellets are suitable for blast furnace and direct reduction processes. Pelletizing differs from sintering in that a green unbaked pellet or ball is formed and then hardened by heating. Iron ore pellets  can be made from beneficiated or run of mine iron ore fines. Lean iron ores are normally upgraded to a higher iron ore content through beneficiation.  This process generates iron ore filter cake which needs to be pelletized so that it can be used in an iron making process.  Also during the processing of high grade iron ores which do not need beneficiation, generated fines can be pelletized and used instead of being disposed of. Pellet plants can be located at mines, near ports or can be attached to steel plants. Equipped with advanced environmental technology, they are virtually pollution free, generating no solid or liquid residues. History of pelletization The history of pellets began in 1912 when A.G.Andersson, a Swede, invented a pelletizing method. The commercial use of pellets, however, began in the USA after World War. Various studies were conducted in USA with the aim of developing the vast reserves of taconite (a low grade iron ore) in the area around the Great Lakes. The process of enriching taconite ore involved grinding the ore to remove gangues and upgrading the iron ore (i.e., an ore beneficiation process). The resultant high grade ore is in the form of fine particles, as small as 0.1 mm or less, which are not suitable for sintering. This issue led to the development of the pelletizing process. In 1943, Dr. Davis,...