Leaching behavior and its mechanism in the leaching of a chalcopyrite concentrate by Thiobacillus ferrooxidans

Takakatsu Takamori, Keiko Sasaki, Masami Tsunekawa, Tsuyoshi Hirajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Leaching behavior of a chalcopyrite concentrate by Thiobacillus ferrooxidans strain isolated from an acid mine water was considered on the basis of the results of batch shake flask experiments. Under the same pulp density, there is a linear relation between the initial specific surface area and the upper limit of copper concentration attainable with a high leaching rate. Leaching proceeded in two stages. The first stage was characterized by a high growth rate, high demand of hydrogen ion and a high leaching rate. The second stage was characterized to generation of hydrogen ion, a low leaching rate, and a low growth rate. The leaching mechanism of the first stage is mainly indirect, and the reactions proceed by depositing elemental sulphur on the mineral surface until reaching a particular thickness. In the second stage, the deposited elemental sulfur is dissolved by bacterial catalytic action and sulfuric acid is produced. The main factor affecting the rate in the leaching is oxidation of sulfide to sulfate. For improvement in leaching rate, it is necessary to accelerate this reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalShigen to sozai
Volume106
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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