Iron ore is one of the most abundant mineral resources and is also one of the most important materials in modern industries. Since the amount and cost of seaborne trade has been increasing in recent years, analytical requirements have become more stringent. Total iron concentration in iron ore is a focal point for trading. Therefore, analysis for the determination of total iron requires high accuracy.
At the mining site, laboratory analysis covers quality check for Run-of-Mine and products, grade check for beneficiation and blending and also research for area exploration. Similarly, iron ore analysis is required in pelletizing plants near mining sites and also sintering plants and stockyards in steel manufacturing sites. Wet chemical analysis is the traditional analytical technique for total iron deter-mination but it needs analytical skill and is time-consuming. The requirement for analysis is strongly focused on cost-efficient parameters such as speed of analysis, simplicity and accuracy.
For powder samples in X-ray fluorescent spectrometry, the pressed powder method is the best solution in terms of quickness and simplicity. Since iron ores have complex matrices owing to their varied mineral compositions, appropriate corrections for these matrix effects are required in XRF analysis. The conventional correction technique for total iron is a method using Compton scattering as an internal standard (Compton scattering ratio method) but it has not been rigorous enough to meet the require-ments of the iron ore industry. Rigaku developed an improved Compton scattering method by integrating theoretical alpha corrections so that analytical results are significantly improved. This note demonstrates an improved method to determine total iron in natural and processed iron ores by the pressed powder method.
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