Publication details

Dissolution of Cu and Zn-bearing ore by indigenous iron-oxidizing bacterial consortia supplemented with dried bamboo sawdust and variations in bacterial structural dynamics: A new concept in bioleaching



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Science of the Total Environment
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Bioleaching; Bamboo sawdust; Mossbauer spectroscopy; Iron-oxidizing bacteria
Description Disposing of low-grade ores involves numerous environmental issues. Bioleaching with acidophilic bacteria is the preferred solution to process these ores for metals recovery. In this study, indigenous iron-oxidizing bacteria Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Leptospirillum ferriphilum, and Leptospirillum ferrooxidans were used in consortia supplemented with acid-treated bamboo sawdust (BSD) for copper and zinc recovery. Findings showed the extreme catalytic response of BSD with the best recovery of metals. Maximum of 92.2 +/- 4.0% copper (0.35%) and 90.0 +/- 5.4% zinc (0.33%) were recovered after 8 days of processing in the presence of 2 g/L BSD. Significant variations were reported in physicochemical parameters during bioleaching in the presence of a different concentration of BSD. Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy results of bioleached residues showed significant variations in spectral pattern and maximum variations were reported in 2.0 g/L BSD, which indicates maximum metals dissolutions. The impact of bacterial consortia and BSD on iron speciation of bioleached ores was analyzed by using Mossbauer spectroscopy and clear variations in iron speciation were reported. Furthermore, the bacterial community structure dynamics revealed significant variations in the individual bacterial proportion in each experiment. This finding shows that the dosage concentration of BSD influenced the microenvironment, which effect the bacterial abundance and these variations in the bacterial structural communities were not associated with the initial proportion of bacterial cells inoculated in the bioleaching process. Moreover, the mechanism of chemical reactions was proposed by explaining the possible role of BSD as a reductant under micro-aerophilic conditions that facilitates the bacterial reduction of ferric iron. This type of bioleaching process with indigenous iron-oxidizing bacteria and BSD has significant potential to further upscale the bioleaching process for recalcitrant ore bodies in an environment friendly and cost-effective way. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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