Online ISSN : 1347-5320
Print ISSN : 1345-9678
ISSN-L : 1345-9678
Chalcopyrite Bioleaching Using Adapted Mesophilic Microorganisms: Effects of Temperature, Pulp Density, and Initial Ferrous Concentrations
Kim Anh NguyenDanilo BorjaJunhyuk YouGilsang HongHyunsung JungHyunjung Kim
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2018 Volume 59 Issue 11 Pages 1860-1866


This study examines the effects of several operating parameters on copper leaching from chalcopyrite ores using an adapted mesophilic bacterial culture. Three temperatures (35, 40, and 45°C), three pulp density (1, 2, and 4% (w/v)), and three initial ferrous ion (Fe(II)) concentrations (5, 10, and 20 g/L) were employed as variable parameters, and their effects on the bioleaching efficiency of chalcopyrite were investigated. After 14 days, the maximum copper bioleaching efficiency was estimated to be ∼64% at a temperature of 45°C, a pH of 1.5, an initial ferrous concentration of 5 g/L, and a pulp density of 4%. More specifically, the chalcopyrite dissolution tests conducted at different temperatures showed a minimal effect of temperature and low leaching efficiency (<20%) regardless of temperature. The trend of chalcopyrite dissolution at different pulp densities showed that Cu extraction tended to increase with increases in pulp density. Moreover, the Cu leaching efficiency associated with mesophilic microorganisms largely decreased when the initial Fe(II) concentration was greater than 10 g/L. The Cu leaching behavior in different test conditions was evalauted with concentrations of total iron (Fe), Fe(II), and ferric ions (Fe(III)), as well as the oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) of the solution used in the test. The Cu leaching rate increased under lower ORP conditions, lower Fe(III):Fe(II) ratios, and balanced Fe(II)–Fe(III) cycles.

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© 2018 The Japan Institute of Metals and Materials
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