Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China
JOURNAL OF RAILWAY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
|Vol. 18 No. 6 December 2008|
（School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China）
Abstract:Pyrite oxidation rates were examined under various conditions in the presence of A. ferrooxidans and L. ferriphilum, in which different pulp concentration, inoculation amount, external addition of Fe3+ and initial pH value were performed. It is found that A. ferrooxidans and L. ferriphilum show similar behaviors in the bioleaching process. The increasing pulp concentration decreases the leaching rate of iron, and external addition of high concentration Fe3+ is also adverse to leaching pyrite. The increased inoculation amount and high initial pH value are beneficial to leaching pyrite, and these changed conditions bring more obvious effects on leaching pyrite by L. ferriphilum than by A. ferrooxidans. The results also show that adjusting the pH values in leaching process baffles leaching pyrite due to the formed jarosite. Jarosite formed in leaching process was observed using XRD, SEM and energy spectrum analysis, and a considerable amount of debris with a crystalline morphology is present on the surface of pyrite. The results imply that the indirect action is more important for bioleaching pyrite.
Key words: pyrite; A. ferrooxidans; L. ferriphilum; bioleaching; jarosite; redox potential