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The role of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans in hydrometallurgical processes

  • Arpad E. Torma
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Biochemical Engineering book series (ABE, volume 6)

Abstract

The present article illustrates the increased interest which is manifested in the microorganisms, Thiobacillus ferrooxidans, involved in the biohydrometallurgical extraction processes. The wide varieties of problems currently studied are very important in order to gain a better understanding about the factors which are governing the growth of microorganisms, and as a consequence, the metal dissolution phenomena. In several mining sites, the microbiological leaching techniques are currently practiced at industrial-scale, especially for recovery of copper and uranium from low-grade materials. However, an accurate assessment of further potential possibilities for the application of microorganisms in leaching metal sulfides requires a more fundamental knowledge about the interactions of the physical and chemical factors with the growth of T. ferrooxidans in pure and mixed cultures including heterotrophic and thermophilic cohabitants. Altogether, the future industrial exploitation of these microbiological leaching techniques are very attractive in many countries of the world.

Keywords

Metal Sulfide Zinc Sulfide Copper Sulfide Metal Extraction Leach Solution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Nomenclature

a

constant

αH2

activity of molecular hydrogen, mg · 1−1

b

constant

B

number of mole of O2, mg · 1−1

C1

actual concentration of dissolved liquid, mg · 1−1

C*

concentration of dissolved oxyen at saturation, mg · 1−1

dC/dt

rate of oxygen uptake, mg · 1−1 · h−1

d[M+2/dt

rate of metal extraction, mg · 1−1 · h−1

dP/dt

rate of product formation, mg · 1−1 · h−1

dS/dt

rate of substrate utilization, mg · 1−1 · h−1

dX/dt

bacterial growth rate, mg · 1−1 · h−1

D

dilution rate, h−1

Dg

diffusivity of dissolved gas in water, cm2 · s−1 or m2 · h−1

E

enzyme, mg · I−1

E0

normal electrode potential, volt

Ea

energy of activation, kcal · mole−1

Eh

redox potential, volt

F

Faraday number, coulomb

ΔG

Gibb's free energy change, kcal · mole−1

k

proportionality constant

k1, k2, k3

reaction rate constants, mg · I−1 · h−1

k1

oxygen mass transfer in Eqs. (29)–(31), mg · 1−1 · h−1

kla

volumetric oxygen mass transfer coefficient, h−1

K,K1,K2

1/2 Vm, mg · 1−1 ·. h −1

n

number of electrons [Eq. (21)] or proportionality constant [Eq. (33)]

P

product, mg ·1−1

Q10

temperature coefficient

R

gas constant, cal · deg−1 · mole−1

s

surface renewal rate, h−1

S0, S, S1, S2

substrates, mg · 1−1

T, T1, T2

absolute temperatures, oK

V

rate of growth or rate of metal extraction, mg · 1−1 · h −1

Vm

maximum value of V, mg · 1−1 · h−1

x1

effective thickness of surface film, cm

X

cell number or concentration, mg

Y

yield, g bacteria/g substrate

μ

specific growth rate, h−1

μm

maximum value of μ, h−1

η

efficiency of substrate utilization, %

ϑ

time, h

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arpad E. Torma
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Metallurgical and Materials EngineeringNew Mexico Institute of Mining and TechnologySocorroUSA

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