Biometallurgy for Manganese and Copper Ores
The paper discusses the biotreatment of Italian ores of potential commercial interest, using oxidizing and reducing microorganisms in mixed and pure cultures. The study focused on copper and manganese ores.
Bioleaching tests were carried out in Erlenmeyer flasks, a L.K.B. modified microfermenter and a newly designed reactor. In particular the development during the time of the chalcopyrite bioleaching of catalyzed by Thiobacillus ferrooxidans is proposed. The main biochemical and chemical reactions concerned in the production of soluble and insoluble species were investigated during the culture growth particularly the time when the principal reactions begin and their duration.
Experimental runs were also performed using urea in place of ammonium sulphate.
Manganese bioleaching was carried out utilizing various microrganisms coming from the natural habitat; interesting results as regards rates and yields were obtained by mixed cultures. Tests of some strains isolated from these cultures were carried out.
KeywordsPilot Plant Manganese Dioxide Manganese Nodule Thiobacillus Ferrooxidans Copper Solubilization
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