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Silicate mineral dissolution in the presence of acidophilic microorganisms: implications for heap bioleaching
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). (Dopson)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, Energy Technology and Thermal Process Chemistry.
2009 (English)In: Hydrometallurgy, ISSN 0304-386X, Vol. 96, no 4, 288-293 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Silicate minerals are found with sulfide minerals and therefore, can be present during heap bioleaching for metal extraction. The weathering of silicate minerals by chemical and biological means is variable depending on the conditions and microorganisms tested. In low pH metal rich environments their dissolution can influence the solution chemistry by increasing pH, releasing toxic trace elements, and thickening of the leach liquor. The amenity of five silicate minerals to chemical and biological dissolution was tested in the presence of either ‘Ferroplasma acidarmanus’ Fer1 or Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans with olivine and hornblende being the most and least amenable, respectively. A number of the silicates caused the pH of the leach liquor to increase including augite, biotite, hornblende, and olivine. For the silicate mineral olivine, the factors affecting magnesium dissolution included addition of microorganisms and Fe2+. XRD analysis identified secondary minerals in several of the experiments including jarosite from augite and hornblende when the medium contained Fe2+. Despite acidophiles preferentially attaching to sulfide minerals, the increase in iron coupled with very low Fe2+ concentrations present at the end of leaching during dissolution of biotite, olivine, hornblende, and microcline suggested that these minerals supported growth. Weathering of the tested silicates would affect heap bioleaching by increasing the pH with olivine, fluoride release from biotite, and production of jarosite during augite and hornblende dissolution that may have caused passivation. These data have increased knowledge of silicate weathering under bioleaching conditions and provided insights into the effects on solution chemistry during heap bioleaching.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier B.V. , 2009. Vol. 96, no 4, 288-293 p.
Keyword [en]
Silicate minerals, Heap bioleaching, Acidophiles, Iron, pH, Passivation
National Category
Industrial Biotechnology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-11593DOI: doi:10.1016/j.hydromet.2008.11.004OAI: diva2:151264
Available from: 2009-01-20 Created: 2009-01-20 Last updated: 2011-01-27Bibliographically approved

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Dopson, MarkLövgren, LarsBoström, Dan
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