Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Bacterial and chemical leaching pattern on copper ores of sandstone and limestone type

  • 80 Accesses

  • 11 Citations


Thin polished sections of copper sulphide ore were placed as an energy source in stationary cultures of wild strains and Thiobacillus neapolitanus at pH 7.5. Scanning electron microscopy revealed characteristic leaching patterns that depended on the type of leaching process and time of bioleaching. In some cases, a biological film on the ore surface was observed. Close contact between bacterial cells and ore seems necessary for leaching in some cases.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bartels, C.C., Chatzitheodorou, G., Rodriguez-Leiva, M. & Tributsch, H. 1989 Novel technique for investigation and quantification of bacterial leaching by Thiobacillus ferrooxidans. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 33, 1196–1204.

  2. Beech, I.B. & Gaylarde, C.C. 1989 Adhesion of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans and Pseudomonas fluorescens to metal steels surfaces. Journal of Applied Bacteriology 67, 201–207.

  3. Bennett, J.C. & Tributsch, H. 1978 Bacterial leaching patterns on pyrite crystal surfaces. Journal of Bacteriology 134, 310–317.

  4. Berry, V.K. & Murr, L.E. 1978 Direct observations of bacteria and quantitative studies of their catalytic role in the leaching of low-grade, copper-bearing waste. In Metallurgical Applications of Bacterial Leaching and Related Microbial Phenomena, eds Murr, L.E., Torma, A.E. & Brierley, J.A. pp. 103–136. New York, San Francisco and London: Academic Press.

  5. Cook, T.M. 1964 Growth of Thiobacillus thiooxidans in shaken culture. Journal of Bacteriology 88, 620–26.

  6. Fletcher, M. & Floodgate, G.D. 1973 An electron-microscopic demonstration of acidic polysaccharides involved in the adhesion of marine bacterium to solid surfaces. Journal of General Microbiology 74, 325–334.

  7. Kunicki-Goldfinger, W., Lejczak-Skłodowska, A. & Ostrowski, M. 1980 Leaching of copper in alkaline environment. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Use of the Microorganisms in Hydrometallurgy, Pecs, Hungary, pp. 127–133.

  8. Lejczak-Skłodowska, A., Ostrowski, M. & Kunicki-Goldfinger, W. 1980 Assay of bacterial copper leaching from covelline at alkaline initial pH. Acta Microbiologica Polonica 29, 69–74.

  9. Ostrowski, M. & Skłodowska, A. 1991 The use of scanning electron microscopy and an electron microprobe in studies on oxidation of sulfur compounds by bacteria and bioleaching of heavy metals. FEMS Microbiology Letters 82, 27–32.

  10. Ostrowski, M., Skłodowska, A. & Kunicki-Goldfinger, W. 1990 Bacterial leaching of copper from alkaline and neutral postflotation wastes with the use of brown coal. Acta Microbiologica Polonica 39, 71–78.

  11. Pluskota, B. 1975 The copper ore bacterial leaching. Cuprum 1, 28–34.

  12. Rodriguez-Leiva, M. & Tributsch, H. 1988 Morphology of bacterial leaching patterns by Thiobacillus ferrooxidans on synthetic pyrite. Archives of Microbiology 149, 401–405.

  13. Silverman, M.P. 1967 Mechanism of bacterial pyrite oxidation. Journal of Bacteriology 94, 1046–1051.

  14. Stenstrom, T.A. 1989 Bacterial hydrophobicity an overall parameter for the measurement of adhesion potential to soil particles. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 55, 142–147.

  15. Vishniac, W. & Santer, M. 1957 The thiobacilli. Bacteriology Review 21, 195–213.

Download references

Additional information

M. Ostrowski and A. Skłodowska are with the Department of Photo and Image Information, University of Warsaw, ul.Nowy Świat 67, 00-046 Warsaw, Poland.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ostrowski, M., Skłodowska, A. Bacterial and chemical leaching pattern on copper ores of sandstone and limestone type. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 9, 328–331 (1993).

Download citation

Key words

  • Biological film
  • leaching pattern
  • Thiobacillus