Limestone – Its Processing and Application in Iron and Steel Industry Jul07

Limestone – Its Processing and Application in Iron and Steel Industry...

Limestone – Its Processing and Application in Iron and Steel Industry Limestone is a naturally occurring and abundant sedimentary rock consisting of high levels of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the form of the mineral calcite. Some limestones may contain small percentage of magnesium carbonate (MgCO3). These limestones are known as dolomitic limestones. Limestone is also a very important industrial mineral. Its chemical properties make it a valuable mineral for a wide range of industrial/manufacturing uses. Limestone is also one of the vital raw materials used in production of iron and steel. Limestone, by definition, is a rock that contains at least 50 % of CaCO3 in the form of calcite by weight. There can be small particles of quartz (silica), feldspar (alumino-silicates), clay minerals, pyrite (iron sulphide), siderite (iron carbonate), and other minerals associated with the limestone. All limestones contain at least a few percent other materials. The Impurities in limestone can consists of silica (SiO2), alumina (Al2O3), iron oxide (Fe2O3), sulphur (as sulphides or sulphates), phosphorus (P2O5), potash (K2O), and soda (Na2O). Silica and alumina are the main impurities of limestone. The limestone which is used in ironmaking is required to contain at least 85 % of calcium carbonate and a low percentage of alumina. Similarly limestone which is used for steelmaking is required to contain at least 92 % of calcium carbonate and a very low percent of impurities especially the silica percentage. The main uses of limestone in iron and steel industry are (i) as a fluxing material, and (ii) other usage which consists of desulphurizing agent, coating of moulds of pig casting machine, neutralizing of acidic water, water treatment, waste water(effluent) treatment, flue gas treatment, and sludge and sewage treatment. It is also a component of synthetic slag. Limestone is...