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Bioleaching of sulfidic tailing samples with a novel, vacuum-positive pressure driven bioreactor.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). (Lindström)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
Department of Microbiology, Ohio State University, 484 W 12th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
2005 (English)In: Biotechnology and Bioengineering, ISSN 0006-3592, E-ISSN 1097-0290, Vol. 92, no 5, 559-67 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study presents a design for a novel bioreactor that uses alternating vacuum and positive pressure cycles to transfer acidic leach solution in and out of contact with finely ground sulfidic mine tailings. These tailings constitute an environmental problem that needs experimental data to support the development of management and control strategies. A conventional stirred tank bioreactor was used as a reference system. Both bioreactors were inoculated with mixed cultures of acidophilic iron and sulfur oxidizers. The rate of the bioleaching of tailings was 0.50 +/- 0.14 g Fe/L . day in the stirred tank bioreactor and 0.17 +/- 0.05 g Fe/L . day in the novel bioreactor. Microbial populations were identified in the two-bioreactor systems by analysis of 16S rRNA genes involving amplification, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), cloning, and sequencing. The inoculum contained sulfur-oxidizing Acidithiobacillus caldus and Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, iron oxidizers from the genera Leptospirillum and Ferroplasma, and a chemoorganotrophic Alicyclobacillus sp. During bioleaching of the tailings, the microbial populations in both bioreactors were similar to the inoculum culture, except that At. thiooxidans outgrew At. caldus. Sequences consistent with a Sulfobacillus sp. were amplified from both bioreactor samples although this bacterium was initially below the level of detection in the inoculum. After prolonged operation, Ferroplasma acidiphilum and an uncultured bacterium related to the CFB group were also detected in the novel bioreactor, whereas Sulfobacillus sp. was no longer detected. The novel bioreactor has potential uses in other areas of environmental biotechnology that involves periodic contact of liquids with solid substrates. (c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 92, no 5, 559-67 p.
Keyword [en]
Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans/*metabolism, Bioreactors/*microbiology, Cell Culture Techniques/*instrumentation/methods, Chemical Fractionation/*instrumentation/methods, Equipment Design, Equipment Failure Analysis, Pressure, Sulfides/*isolation & purification/*metabolism, Vacuum
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-16789DOI: 10.1002/bit.20609PubMedID: 16245345OAI: diva2:156462
Available from: 2008-01-12 Created: 2008-01-12 Last updated: 2016-06-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Physiology and Genetics of Acidithiobacillus species: Applications for Biomining
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Physiology and Genetics of Acidithiobacillus species: Applications for Biomining
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Bacteria from the genus Acidithiobacillus are often associated with biominingand acid mine drainage. Biomining utilises acidophilic, sulphur and ironoxidising microorganisms for recovery of metals from sulphidic low grade oresand concentrates. Acid mine drainage results in acidification and contaminationwith metals of soil and water emanating from the dissolution of metal sulphidesfrom deposits and mine waste storage. Acidophilic microorganisms play acentral role in these processes by catalysing aerobic oxidation of sulphides.Acceleration of mineral solubilisation is a positive aspect in biomining whereas,in acid mine drainage it is undesirable and accordingly, microbial iron andsulphur oxidation is promoted in the first case and measures are taken to inhibitit in the second case. In this thesis, several approaches were taken in order tounderstand and increase oxidation efficiency in biomining and to gain an insightinto the biochemical reactions taking place in these environments. A laboratoryscale bioreactor was designed and tested allowing simulation of bioleaching inheaps of mine tailings at different aeration, irrigation and particle size conditions(Paper I). A new psychrotolerant strain of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans wascharacterised that has an application in boreal heap bioleaching. Iron, reducedinorganic sulphur compound oxidation and bioleaching of various ores by thisstrain was studied as well as gene expression during oxidation of tetrathionateand/or ferrous iron (Papers III & IV). Expression and regulation of atetrathionate hydrolase from Acidithiobacillus caldus, a key enzyme in reducedinorganic sulphur compound metabolism of this bacterium was investigated andthe presence of this enzyme in a bioleaching mixed culture was shown. The genecluster that harbours the gene coding for tetrathionate hydrolase (tetH) wasdescribed for the first time (Paper II).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Molekylärbiologi (Teknisk-naturvetenskaplig fakultet), 2008. 73 p.
National Category
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1545 (URN)978-91-7264-509-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-03-07, Major Grove, 6L, Umeå University, Dept. of Molecular Biology, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2008-02-15 Created: 2008-02-15 Last updated: 2009-06-30Bibliographically approved

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Rzhepishevska, OlenaLindström, BörjeDopson, Mark
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