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Silicate mineral dissolution during heap bioleaching
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, Energy Technology and Thermal Process Chemistry.
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2008 (English)In: Biotechnology and Bioengineering, ISSN 0006-3592, E-ISSN 1097-0290, Vol. 99, no 4, 811-820 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Silicate minerals are present in association with metal sulfides in ores and their dissolution occurs when the sulfide minerals are bioleached in heaps for metal recovery. It has previously been suggested that silicate mineral dissolution can affect mineral bioleaching by acid consumption, release of trace elements, and increasing the viscosity of the teach solution. In this study, the effect of silicates present in three separate samples in conjunction with chalcopyrite and a complex multi-metal sulfide ore on heap bioleaching was evaluated in column bioreactors. Fe2+ oxidation was inhibited in columns containing chalcopyrite samples A and C that leached 1.79 and 1.11 mM fluoride, respectively but not in sample B that contained 0.14 mM fluoride. Microbial Fe2+ oxidation inhibition experiments containing elevated fluoride concentrations and measurements of fluoride release from the chalcopyrite ores supported that inhibition of Fe2+ oxidation during column leaching of two of the chalcopyrite ores was due to fluoride toxicity. Column bioleaching of the complex sulfide ore was carried out at various temperatures (7-50 degrees C) and pH values (1.5-3.0). Column leaching at pH 1.5 and 2.0 resulted in increased acid consumption rates and silicate dissolution such that it became difficult to filter the leach solutions and for the leach liquor to percolate through the column. However, column temperature (at pH 2.5) only had a minor effect on the acid consumption and silicate dissolution rates. This study demonstrates the potential negative impact of silicate mineral dissolution on heap bioleaching by microbial inhibition and liquid flow.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley , 2008. Vol. 99, no 4, 811-820 p.
Keyword [en]
heap bioleaching, silicate minerals, acidophiles, iron, fluoride, pH
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38597DOI: 10.1002/bit.21628ISI: 000253277300008OAI: diva2:379683
Available from: 2010-12-19 Created: 2010-12-19 Last updated: 2011-01-27

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Dopson, MarkBoström, Dan
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Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology)Energy Technology and Thermal Process Chemistry
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