Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China
JOURNAL OF RAILWAY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
|Vol. 17 No. 5 October 2007|
（1. School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, East China Institute of Technology, Fuzhou 344000, China;2. Geological Environmental Monitoring Station of Guangxi Zhuangzu Autonomous Region, Guilin 541004, China ）
Abstract: The catalytic effect of activated carbon on the bioleaching of low-grade primary copper sulfide ores using mixture of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans was investigated. The results show that the addition of activated carbon can greatly accelerate the rate and efficiency of copper dissolution from low-grade primary copper sulfide ores. The solution with the concentration of 3.0 g/L activated carbon is most beneficial to the dissolution of copper. The resting time of the mixture of activated carbon and ores has an impact on the bioleaching of low-grade primary copper sulfide ores. The 2 d resting time is most favorable to the dissolution of copper. The enhanced dissolution rate and efficiency of copper can be attributed to the galvanic interaction between activated carbon and chalcopyrite. The addition of activated carbon obviously depresses the dissolution of iron and the bacterial oxidation of ferrous ions in solution. The lower redox potentials are more favorable to the copper dissolution than the higher potentials for low-grade primary copper sulfide ores in the presence of activated carbon.
Key words: bioleaching; low-grade primary copper sulfide ores; activated carbon; catalytic effect