Oxidative dissolution of research-grade minerals by Thiobacillus ferrooxidans and Thiobacillus thiooxidans
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Solution- and solid-phase changes associated with galena (PbS) and sphalerite (ZnS) oxidation by T. ferrooxidans and T. thiooxidans, were determined. In experiments with galena, anglesite (PbSO4) was detected as a solid-phase product in biotic and abiotic experiments. In T. ferrooxidans cultures supplemented with FeSO4, jarosite [MFe3 (SO4)(2) (OH)(6)] was also detected as a new solid phase product, whereas SO was not detected in the residues. In sphalerite experiments, minor amounts of SO accumulated in FeSO4-amended sphalerite media with or without T. ferrooxidans or T. thiooxidans. Jarosite was only detected in T. ferrooxidans culture with FeSO4. By comparison with T. thiooxidans, T. ferrooxidans was more efficient in the oxidation of galena and sphalerite.