Biomining by Douglas E. Rawlings, D. Barrie Johnson

By Douglas E. Rawlings, D. Barrie Johnson

Biomining is the biotechnology that makes use of microorganisms to get better metals, particularly copper and gold, from ores and concentrates. Having constructed from an easy operational (in phrases of either engineering and biology) strategy, biomining has constructed right into a multifaceted expertise, to the level that the various biggest business stirred tanks and tons in the course of the international are hired for bioprocessing minerals.

This publication has a powerful utilized procedure and describes rising and confirmed business tactics, in addition to the underlying conception of the method, and the biology of the microorganisms concerned. Chapters were written via body of workers from major biomining businesses, specialists and across the world well-known researchers and academics.

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BIOX Stock Tank Process Water Secondary BIOX Reactor Primary BIOX Reactors Interstage Thickener Overflow to Neutralization Process Water Thermophile StockTank Thermophile Reactors Thermophile Product to CCD Fig. 4. Schematic flow diagram of the combination BIOX and thermophile process 26 Pieter C. 2. A secondary reactor may be required depending on the sulfur grade of the concentrate and the oxidation achieved in the primary stage. Semioxidized material is fed to an interstage thickening stage to remove the bulk of the dissolved iron and sulfide species, in order to reduce unwanted iron precipitation reactions during the thermophile stage.

The flotation tailings are fed with the acid solution to the first neutralization tank. The on-line pH monitoring and limestone addition to the second tank is therefore not required. The lime addition in tank 5 is the same to ensure that the pH of the final effluent is in the range 6–8. The recycle stream is also not required, as the solids in the flotation tailings stream will supply sufficient sites for seeding. The retention time required for neutralization must also be confirmed during batch and pilot plant testwork.

4 Optimizing the Efficiency of Bioleaching Preliminary tests showed that the cobaltiferous pyrite could be satisfactorily bioleached to release cobalt in solution (Morin et al. 1993). Extensive studies on the influence of some key operating parameters were carried out in batch tests using 200-mL air-lift tubes (Battaglia et al. 1994a), such as pH, influence of dissolved iron and cobalt, nutrient medium optimization, solids concentration, particle size distribution, inoculum size and temperature.

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