Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China
JOURNAL OF RAILWAY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
|Vol. 17 No. 5 October 2007|
（1. School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Central South University,Changsha 410083, China; 2. School of Resources Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China; 3. Hunan Metallurgic Professional Technical College, Zhuzhou 412000, China ）
Abstract:The principle for the electro-generative leaching was applied to simultaneous leaching of sphalerite-MnO2. A galvanic system for the bio-electro-generative leaching was set up. The effects of grain size and temperature on rate of zinc extraction from sphalerite under the conditions of presence and absence of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (A.ferrooxidans) were studied, respectively. The results show that with bacteria, the maximum extraction of zinc from the ores with grain size of 16.6 μm can reach 32.01% after leaching for 12 h, while to obtain the same extraction ratio in the traditional bio-leaching route (i.e. not electro-generative one) 10 d is needed to ore granules with same size. The unreacted shrinking core model was used for describing the reaction-relative and diffusion-relative phenomena presented in the process of the electro-generative leaching with and without bacteria, which is considered to be diffusion controlled. The activation energies of the anodic reaction for leaching system in the presence and absence of bacteria are 11.97 and 14.39 kJ/mol, respectively, indicating that leaching rate can be decreased by A. ferrooxidans. SEM was used to study the effect of A. ferrooxidans on the ores in the simultaneous electro-generative leaching, which indicates that the produced sulfur on the surface of the sulfides can be oxidized by A. ferrooxidans after bio-electro-generative leaching for 24 h, and the transferred charge due to the bacterial oxidation is up to 17.86%, which is an important part of the output electric quantity.
Key words: sphalerite mineral; electro-generative leaching; bio-oxidation; activation energy