The purpose of this work was to isolate Cu-tolerant sulfate-reducers that could be used to produce copper sulfides under pure culture conditions. Three sulfate-reducing bacteria were isolated from wastewater effluents of a zinc-smelter in the Urals and their tolerance to copper varied between 325 and 2600 mg Cu l-1. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences placed the isolates in the genus Desulfovibrio. The isolates showed pronounced saccharolytic growth. Growing cultures precipitated Cu2+ as covellite (CuS) within less than a week. Extended incubation for 1 month lead to the formation of chalcocite (Cu2S) and chalcopyrite (CuFeS2).
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