Iron ore is naturally occurring mineral primarily consisting of iron oxides, such as goethite, hematite, magnetite or limonite. About 98% of the iron ore is used either directly or converted to concentrates, pellets and sinter to produce metallic iron and steel. Iron ores also have limited applications for production of medical, biochemical and electrical products. The estimated amount of worldwide iron ore production for 2007 is a little over 2 billion tonnes, which is 68% increase in gross weight from the year 2003. About 81% of the international iron ore production is located in only five countries, China, Brazil, Australia, India and Russia. Globalisation, material scarcity and supplydemand balance, could affect the metal production, consumption, export and price, as discussed in this chapter. The physical and chemical properties of different iron ores are important parameters in determining the product yield and quality of iron and steel production. A large amount of iron and low alumina and silica contents are found in the majority of the iron ores. The concentrations of toxic elements, mostly occurring at trace levels, are also important to ensure control of pollution emissions. The reduction behavior of iron ores determines process efficiency, product quality and economy.The productivity and pollutant emission efficiency of blast furnace and direct reduction of iron ore processes are discussed and presented with international comparisons.The chapter also focuses on Australian iron ore and steel industry practices with consideration of their environmental and industrial sustainability.
|Title of host publication||Advances in environmental research|
|Editors||Justin A Daniels|
|Place of Publication||New York|
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|