Copper Recovery from Chalcopyrite Concentrate by an Indigenous Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans in an Air-Lift Bioreactor

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

1 Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, I.R. IRAN

2 Department of Energy and Environmental Engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, FINLAND

Abstract

In this study, effects of solid concentration, temperature, and initial Fe2+ concentration on bioleaching of sulfide mineral (chalcopyrite) obtained from Sarcheshmeh Copper Mine in the region of Kerman located in the south of Iran were investigated. A mesophilic iron oxidizing bacterium, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans has been isolated from a typical chalcopyrite copper concentrate of the mentioned mine. Bioleaching experiments were carried out in two batch air-lift bioreactors with recycling stream. One reactor contained 2 liters of medium and 10% (v/v) inoculum while in the other reactor, control bioleaching tests were carried out with sterilized concentrate without inoculum by the addition of 40 ml of 0.5% (v/v) formaline in ethanol. The results indicate that the efficiency of copper extraction is dependent on all of the aforementioned variables. In addition, results show that the effects of solid concentration and temperature had more effect compared to the initial Fe2+ concentration. Maximum copper recovery was achieved 70% at pH=1.5, initial Fe2+ concentration=7g/L and pulp density = 10% (w/v) in bioreactor, after 10 days.  

Keywords

Main Subjects


[1] Alvarez,  J. L., Revision  critica de los procesos de beneficio de sulfuros complejos, Simposio sulfuros polimetalicos de la Faja Piritica Iberica, Huelva, Spain, (1996).

[2] Jordan, M.A., McGuiness, S., Philips, C.V., Acido-philic bacteria-their potential mining and environ-mental applications, Minerals Engineering, 9 (2), p.169 (1996).

[3] Brierley, C.L., Bacterial succession in bioheap leaching, Hydrometallurgy, 59, p.249 (2001).

[4] Lizama, H.M., Copper bioleaching behavior in an aerated heap, International Journal of Mineral Processing, 62, p.257 (2001).

[5] Rodriguez,Y., Ballester, A., Blazquez, M.L., New information on the chalcopyrite bioleaching mecha-nism at low and high temperatures, Hydro-metallurgy, 71, p.47 (2003).

[6] Gerike, M., Pinches, A., Rooyen, J.V., Bioleaching of a chalcopyrite concentrate using an extremely thermophile culture, International Journal of Mineral Processing, 62, p.243 (2001)

[7] Rubio, A., Garcia Frutos, F.J., Bioleaching capacity of an extremely thermophile culture for chalco-pyritic materials, Minerals Engineering, 15, p.689 (2002).

[8] Bailey, A.D., Hansford, G.S., Factors affecting bio-oxidation of sulfide minerals at high  concentrations of  solids: a review,  Biotechnol. Bioengng, 42, p.1164 (1993).

[9] Morin,  D., In  Scheiner, B. J., Doyle, F. M. and Kawatra S.K. , (Eds.) Bacterial leaching of refractory gold sulfide ores, dans Bioextraction and Bio-deterioration of metals, Cambridge, UK: University Press, pp.25-62 (1995).

[10] Mousavi, S.M., Yaghmaei, S., Vossoughi, M., Jafari, A., Hoseini, S.A., Comparison of bioleaching ability of two native mesophilic and thermophilic bacteria on copper recovery from chalcopyrite concentrate in an airlift bioreactor, Hydrometallurgy, 80(1), p.139 (2005).

[11] Ronald,  M. A., “Handbook of  Microbiological Media”, Second edition, Robert Stern publisher, New York, USA, (1997).

[12] Karamanev, D.G., Nikolov, L.N., Mamatarkova, V., Rapid simultaneous quantitative determination of ferric and ferrous ions in drainage waters and similar solutions, Minerals Engineering, 15, p.341 (2002).

[13] Vogel, A.I., “A Text Book of Quantitative Inorganic Analysis”, pp.309,319, Longman, London, United Kingdom, (1962).

[14] Nakamura, K., Noike, T., Matsumoto, J., Effect of operation conditions on biological Fe2+ oxidation with rotating biological contactors, Water Resources, 20 (1), p. 73 (1986).