Bioleaching of sphalerite by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans cultured in 9K medium modified with pyrrhotite

  • Song Chen (陈 松)
  • Guan-zhou Qiu (邱冠周)
  • Wen-qing Qin (覃文庆)Email author
  • Zhuo-yue Lan (蓝卓越)


Elective culture of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans in 9K medium modified with pyrrhotite was studied. Bioleaching of flotation concentrate of sphalerite by the selected bacteria was carried out. The results show that the microorganisms cultured by pyrrhotite are a mixture of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, of which the capability to oxidize ferrous to ferric irons is enhanced by the high mass ratio of Fe to S in pyrrhotite. Three pyrrhotite samples were separated into various parts with corresponding S/Fe ratios by magnetic separation and were used to culture the elective bacteria as the substrate. The association of the cultures could provide a more rapid and complete oxidation of sphalerite than that of bacteria cultivated by conventional methods.

Key words

bioleaching pyrrhotite elective culture sphalerite 


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Copyright information

© Central South University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Song Chen (陈 松)
    • 1
  • Guan-zhou Qiu (邱冠周)
    • 1
  • Wen-qing Qin (覃文庆)
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhuo-yue Lan (蓝卓越)
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Resource Processing and BioengineeringCentral South UniversityChangshaChina

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