High quality inputs with high metal and low gauge content, preferably sinter with an iron content of 61-63.5% and pellets with an iron content in the range of 66.6-66.8%, should be used to the extent possible. High quality inputs lower the need for reducing agent, decrease energy consumption and CO2 emissions, and increase productivity. Other critical factors are moderate ash content of coke and low ash content of coal for injection.
Use of high quality pellets and sinter is in principle applicable to different plants, but requires development and a fundamental understanding of the effects of different iron ore on blast furnace performance. A major limitation of this practice is the cost-effective avaiability of high quality ores.
Use of high quality ore is regarded to have good potential in India and in the United States. In India, the potential will be limited by the availability of high quality ore and its transport to the plants. For China the potential is regarded to be low due to poor quality of the ore commonly available.