Biodesulfurization of vanadium-bearing titanomagnetite concentrates and pH control of bioleaching solution
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Vanadium-bearing titanomagnetite concentrates were desulfurized with Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (A. ferrooxidans). The sulfur content of the concentrates was reduced from 0.69wt% to 0.14wt% after bioleaching for 15 d with a 10% pulp density at 30°C. Maintaining a stable pH value during biodesulfurization was critical because of high acid consumption, resulting from a combination of nonoxidative and oxidative dissolution of pyrrhotite in acid solution. It is discovered that the citric acid-disodium hydrogen phosphate buffer of pH 2.0 can control the solution pH value smoothly in the optimal range of 2.0–3.0 for A. ferrooxidans growth. Using the buffer in the volume fraction range of 5.0%–15.0% stimulates A. ferrooxidans growth and improves the biodesulfurization efficiency. Compared with the buffer-free control case, the maximum increase of biodesulfurization rate is 29.7% using a 10.0vol% buffer. Bioleaching provides an alternative process for desulfurization of vanadium-bearing titanomagnetite ores.
Keywordstitanomagnetite vanadium biodesulfurization Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans citric acid disodium hydrogen phosphate
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