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Analysis of natural and processed iron ores by pressed powder method

AppNote XRF1050: iron ores by pressed powder method

Background

Volume of seaborne trade and price of iron ore are globally increasing in the recent years. For the iron ore trading, total iron content in iron ore is focal point so that highly accurate analysis is required to determine the total iron content. In mining sites, it is often required to perform voluminous analysis, such as to analyze a few hundred samples per day. However, wet chemical analysis, which is traditional analytical technique for total iron determination, is difficult to perform such a large number of sample analyses because the method is time-consuming and requires analytical skill. The requirement for analysis is strongly focused on cost-efficiency such as quickness and simplicity as well as accuracy. For powder samples in X-ray fluoresce spectrometry, pressed powder method is the best solution in terms of quickness and simplicity. Since iron ore has complex matrix owing to its various mineral assemblages, appropriate corrections for the matrix effect are required in XRF analysis. Conventional correction technique for total iron is a method using Compton scattering as internal standard (Compton scattering ratio method) but it has not been satisfactory for meeting the requirement of iron ore industry. RIGAKU developed improved Compton scattering method by integration of theoretical alpha correction so that analytical result is significantly improved. This note demonstrates the improved method to determine total iron in iron ores by pressed powder method, which covers crude iron ores (low and high content iron ores) and agglomerates (pellet and sinter).

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