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 effect of Cu2+ ions on bioleaching of marmatite was investigated through shake leaching experiments. The bacteria inoculated are a mixed culture of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Lepthospirillum ferrooxidans. The results show that zinc is selectively leached, and the addition of appropriate content of Cu2+ ions has positive effect on the bioleaching of marmatite. SEM and EDX analyses of the leaching residue reveal that a product layer composed of iron sulfide, elemental sulfur and jarosite forms on the mineral surface. The biooxidation of elemental sulfur is catalyzed by the Cu2+ ions, which eliminate the barrier to bioleaching of marmatite and keep low pH value. With the addition of 0.5 g/L Cu2+ ions, the maximum zinc extraction rate reaches 73% after 23 d at the temperature of 30 ℃ with the pulp density of 10%, while that of iron is only about 10%.
Key words: Cu2+ ions; marmatite; bioleaching; zinc