Acidophiles in bioreactor mineral processing

  title={Acidophiles in bioreactor mineral processing},
  author={P. Norris and N. Burton and N. A. M. Foulis},
Abstract Mineral processing in bioreactors has become established in several countries during the past decade with industrial application of iron- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria to release occluded gold from mineral sulfides. Cobalt extraction in bioreactors has also been commercialized, and development of high-temperature biooxidation of copper sulfides has reached pilot-plant scale. A variety of potentially useful mineral sulfide-oxidizing thermophiles have been recognized, but the most active… Expand

Figures, Tables, and Topics from this paper

Heavy metal mining using microbes.
  • D. Rawlings
  • Chemistry, Medicine
  • Annual review of microbiology
  • 2002
The use of acidiphilic, chemolithotrophic iron- and sulfur-oxidizing microbes in processes to recover metals from certain types of copper, uranium, and gold-bearing minerals or mineral concentratesExpand
Biomineralization of metal-containing ores and concentrates.
A strongly growing microbially-based metal extraction industry, which uses either rapid stirred-tank or slower irrigation technology to recover metals from an increasing range of minerals using a diversity of microbes that grow at a variety of temperatures is reviewed. Expand
The microbiology of biomining: development and optimization of mineral-oxidizing microbial consortia.
Theoretical and pragmatic aspects of assembling microbial consortia to process different mineral ores and concentrates, and the challenges for using constructed Consortia in non-sterile industrial-scale operations are discussed. Expand
Importance of microbiology in the development of sustainable technologies for mineral processing and wastewater treatment
Mining companies have become increasingly aware of the potential of microbiological approaches for recovering base and precious metals from low-grade ores, and for remediating acidic, metal-richExpand
A review of sulfide minerals microbially assisted leaching in stirred tank reactors
Abstract Compared to conventional extractive techniques, bacterial assisted leaching, also called “biomining” is an eco-friendly technology that provides improved metal/solid separations. TheseExpand
Characteristics and adaptability of iron- and sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms used for the recovery of metals from minerals and their concentrates
  • D. Rawlings
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Microbial cell factories
  • 2005
The remarkable adaptability of these organisms is assisted by several of the processes being continuous-flow systems that enable the continual selection of microorganisms that are more efficient at mineral degradation. Expand
Microbial leaching of metals from solid industrial wastes
This mini-review focuses on the acidophilic microbial diversity and application of those microorganisms toward solid industrial wastes. Expand
Genomics, metagenomics and proteomics in biomining microorganisms.
These powerful approaches are reviewed here since they offer the possibility of exciting new findings that will allow analyzing the community as a microbial system, determining the extent to which each of the individual participants contributes to the process, how they evolve in time to keep the conglomerate healthy and therefore efficient during the entire process of bioleaching. Expand
Acidophilic bioleaching: A Review on the Process and Effect of Organic–inorganic Reagents and Materials on its Efficiency
ABSTRACT Bio-hydrometallurgical applications have been receiving more attention globally for processing of several metal bearing wastes. Developments in bioleaching enable this technique to beExpand
The resilience and versatility of acidophiles that contribute to the bio‐assisted extraction of metals from mineral sulphides
In this paper, a brief outline is presented on acidic ferric ion oxidation of mineral sulphides for the extraction of metals in both stirred tank reactors for mineral concentrates and heaps forExpand


Mineral sulphide oxidation by enrichment cultures of novel thermoacidophilic bacteria
Enrichment culture of hot spring water samples with pyrite as substrate has provided acidophiles with novel growth characteristics: with these bacteria, the range of conditions under which rapidExpand
The Design and Operating Practice of Bacterial Oxidation Plant Using Moderate Thermophiles(The BacTech Process)
It has been most satisfying to see the emergence of bacterial leaching technology from laboratory experimentation through to commercial acceptance. The use of moderate thermophiles for commercialExpand
Thermophiles and Bioleaching
Acidophilic microorganisms that oxidize iron and sulfur can be exposed to high temperatures in geothermal environments and in some heaps of ores and mine wastes. A variety of types with differentExpand
Bioleaching of a cobaltiferous pyrite at 20% solids: a continuous laboratory-scale study
The continuous bioleaching of a cobaltiferous pyrite was carried out at 20% solids in laboratory-scale stirred reactors. Various potentially limiting factors, such as agitation, aeration, dissolvedExpand
Characteristics of Sulfobacillus acidophilus sp. nov. and other moderately thermophilic mineral-sulphide-oxidizing bacteria.
Several isolates of Gram-positive, acidophilic, moderately thermophilic, ferrous-iron- and mineral-sulphide-oxidizing bacteria were examined to establish unequivocally the characteristics ofExpand
Bioleaching of base metal sulphide concentrates: A comparison of mesophile and thermophile bacterial cultures
Continuous pilot scale testwork has shown that thermophiles achieve efficient bioleaching of primary copper sulphide and nickel sulphide concentrates, giving much higher recoveries than achieved byBioleaching with a mesophile or moderate thermophile culture. Expand
Acidimicrobium ferrooxidans gen. nov., sp. nov.: mixed-culture ferrous iron oxidation with Sulfobacillus species.
The capacity of this species to fix CO2 from air was greater than that of iron-oxidizing thermoacidophiles of the genus Sulfobacillus, which required an enhanced CO2 concentration for optimum autotrophic growth. Expand
The BIOX® Process for Biooxidation of Gold-Bearing Ores or Concentrates
GENCOR S.A. Ltd. has pioneered the commercialization of biooxidation of refractory gold ores. Development of the BIOX® process started in the late 197os at GENCOR Process Research, in Johannesburg,Expand
Differential tolerance of Sulfolobus strains to transition metals
Tolerance to Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, Zn and Mg was presented as a potentially useful taxonomic indicator and the order of tolerance was Mg > Cd > Zn = Co > Ni > Cu. Expand
Thiobacillus caldus and Leptospirillum ferrooxidans are widely distributed in continuous flow biooxidation tanks used to treat a variety of metal containing ores and concentrates
It is found that the leptospirilli which dominate the iron-oxidising bacteria in the continuous-flow biooxidation tanks belong to the same sub-group as the L. ferrooxidans type strain (DSM2705). Expand