Oxidative dissolution of bornite by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans

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Bevilaqua, D. [UNESP]
Garcia, O. [UNESP]
Tuovinen, O. H.

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Elsevier B.V.


The oxidation of finely ground (-200 mu m) bornite (Cu(5)FeS(4)) by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans was evaluated in oxygen uptake and shake flasks experiments. The oxidation was a net acid-consuming reaction. Residual bornite was not detected by X-fray diffraction in solids after 2 days of contact in acid leach solution, indicating that the chemical and biological oxidation of bornite was relatively fast. Virtually 100% of copper solubilization was achieved in A. ferrooxidans cultures with or without ferrous iron, while in abiotic controls the copper extraction was around 30%. Bornite was not oxidized by Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans in respirometric or shake flasks experiments. Covellite (CuS) was detected as a secondary phase under all experimental conditions. Sulfur and jarosite were formed only in the presence of A. ferrooxidans. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



Acidithiobacillus, Bornite, Leaching, Iron oxidation, Sulfur oxidation, Covellite

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Process Biochemistry. Oxford: Elsevier B.V., v. 45, n. 1, p. 101-106, 2010.