Iron Ore Beneficiation Technology By Electrostatic Separation

Iron is the second most common element on earth and comprises nearly 5% of the earth’s crust. Iron ores are rocks and minerals that contain metallic iron that’s extracted by mining. Almost 100% of mined iron ore is used in steel production, making it essential for everything from staples to buildings.

Beneficiation is the term for reducing the size of valuable iron ore particles and separating them from the gange (unusable minerals), which are then discarded. There are several different methods of wet and dry separation. The type of beneficiation employed depends on the physical, electrical, and magnetic properties specific to each iron ore deposit. 

The dry separation industry is a fast-growing industry developing environmentally-friendly methods to contend with the growing risks of climate change.

ST Equipment & Technology (STET)  is a leader in the dry minerals separation equipment field. Our groundbreaking electrostatic separation equipment utilizes a completely dry method of fine and dry iron separation based on electrical conductivity.

What is the Purpose of Iron Ore Processing?

There are usually three stages in iron ore production: mining, using a blast and removal technique, processing, and pelletizing, which turns ore into pellets the size of marbles. Processing increases the iron content while reducing the gangue in ore minerals, ensuring the correct grade and chemistry are achieved prior to the pelletization process. 

There are several different stages of crushing, milling, classification, and concentration involved in iron ore processing. 

As mentioned above, because mineral deposits have specific iron and gangue-bearing traits, beneficiation techniques vary, falling into either a wet or a dry category. Electrostatic separation is a dry method that consumes far less energy and natural resources than conventional wet separation and results in a cleaner product.

What is Electrostatic Separation?

Electrostatic separation is an industrial process that uses electrostatic charges as a way to separate large quantities of material particles. It’s most commonly used to sort mineral ore, helping to remove foreign material and leave behind a purified substance.

Is Electrostatic the Same Thing as Static Electricity?

No. “Electrostatic force” is created by the charge difference between the surfaces of two separate objects. This is a very tiny charge when only between individual electrons and protons, but when multiplied by a billion, turns into a tangible physical attraction or repulsion.

Electrostatics regulate how static (stationary) electrical charges interact. Static electricity refers to the electric discharges caused by a static charge that collects on a surface, like a doorknob, which is why there’s a slight shock sometimes when you touch it. That is, electricity is the physical “thing” that makes the electrical charges move.

How Does the Process Work?

Electrostatic charges are a way to attract or repel differently charged material. This type of beneficiation causes the particles with the same charge to fall away from the other particles when repelled by the similarly charged object.

What are the Benefits of Electrostatic Separation?

  • Zero water consumption, which means no energy is expended for pumping, thickening, and drying, as well as no costs from water treatment and disposal.
  • No chemical additives.
  • Lower investment and operating costs. Ease of permitting because of minimized environmental impact
Where Should I Go for the Best Dry Minerals Separation Equipment?

ST Equipment & Technology (STET)  develops and manufactures Triboelectrostatic separators for the fly ash and minerals industry using a proprietary electrostatic separation process developed by an MIT scientist. We’re proud of our unique beneficiation process, which benefits both the mining industry as well as the environment.

Our fine iron ore separation equipment has developed an impeccable reputation in North America, Europe, and Asia thanks to a dedicated team of experts dedicated to solving separation challenges for our customers. Contact us to learn more.