Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 377–382

Role of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans and sulphur (sulphide)-dependent ferric-ion-reducing activity in the oxidation of sulphide minerals

  • A. Das
  • A. K. Mishra

DOI: 10.1007/s002530050699

Cite this article as:
Das, A. & Mishra, A. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (1996) 45: 377. doi:10.1007/s002530050699


Thiobacillus ferrooxidans oxidized the sulphide minerals e.g., pyrite, pyrrhotite and copper concentrate under anaerobic conditions in the presence of ferric ion as sole electron acceptor. Copper and iron were solubilized from sulphide ores by the sulphur (sulphide)-dependent ferric-ion oxidoreductase activity. Treatment of resting cells of T. ferrooxidans with 0.5% phenol for 30 min completely destroyed the iron- and copper-solubilizing activity. The above treatment destroyed the sulphur(sulphide)-dependent ferric-ion-reducing activity completely but did not affect the iron-oxidizing activity. The results suggest that sulphur(sulphide)-dependent ferric-ion-reducing activity actively participates in the oxidation of sulphide minerals under anaerobic conditions. The activity of sulphur(sulphide)-dependent ferric ion reduction in the solubilization of iron and copper from the sulphide ores were also observed under aerobic conditions in presence of sodium azide (0.1 μmol), which completely inhibits the iron-oxidizing activity.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Das
    • 1
  • A. K. Mishra
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Bose Institute, P-1/12, C.I.T. Scheme VII-M, Calcutta 700 054, IndiaIN
  2. 2.Department of Metallurgy, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India. Fax: 080-3341683IN