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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Chemical Engineering

Advisor 1

S. Komar Kawatra

Committee Member 1

Julia King

Committee Member 2

S. Gowtham

Committee Member 3

Tony Rogers


The replacement of bentonite as the standard iron ore binder is an important factor in the future of iron processing. Bentonite adds 0.7%-1.0% unwanted silica to the final iron product. Bentonite replacement requires an in-depth understanding of how alternative binders affect the agglomeration process. One such alternative binder is starch, which can be modified in a multitude of ways. It has been observed that the use of a highly soluble starch can greatly increase the dry compressive strength of a hematite concentrate pellet. By heating a starch solution or extruding a starch, its solubility can be altered. When using starch along with bentonite, a suitable pellet can be produced that can withstand all aspects of pellet handling. It was observed that at the highest solubility of starch there was a strength increase of approximately 15 lbf.