Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China
JOURNAL OF RAILWAY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
|Vol. 18 No. 6 December 2008|
（Key Laboratory of Biometallurgy of Ministry of Education, School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering,
Central South University, Changsha 410083, China）
Abstract:The bioleaching of chalcopyrite in shake flasks was investigated by using pure Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and mixed culture isolated from the acid mine drainage in Yushui and Dabaoshan Copper Mine in China, marked as YS and DB, respectively. The mixed culture consisted mainly of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, and Leptospirillum spp. (Leptospirillum ferriphilum and Leptospirillum ferrooxians). The results show that the mixed culture is more efficient than the pure Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans because of the presence of the sulfur-oxidizing cultures that positively increase the dissolution rate and the recovery of copper from chalcopyrite. The pH value decreases with the decrease of chalcopyrite leaching rate, because of the formation of jarosite as a passivation layer on the mineral surface during bioleaching. In the bioleaching using the mixed culture, low pH is got from the sulfur oxidizing inhibiting, the formation of jarosite. The copper extraction reaches 46.27% in mixed culture and 30.37% in pure Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans after leaching for 75 d.
Key words: chalcopyrite; bioleaching; Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans; mixed culture