Bioflocculation of Fine Mineral Suspensions by Candida parcrpsilosis and its Sonication Products

Schneider, I. A. H. ; Misra, M. ; Smith, R W.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1994
The flocculation of -38 pm calcite, hematite and kaolinite aqueous suspensions by the yeast Candida parapsilosis and products derived from rupture of the microorganism was studied. Flocculation of hematite suspensions by the microorganism and its derivatives readily takes place between pH 2.8 and 11.4. Maximum flocculation occurs at about pH 6.5. Flocculation of calcite suspensions by the microorganism and its derivatives readily takes place between pH 7.0 and 11.8. Maximum flocculation occurs at about pH 10.0. Flocculation of kaolinite suspensions was less than that for the other two minerals. However, a soluble fraction derived from the rupture of the organism functioned as a good flocculant for the mineral, albeit at an increased concentration, between pH 2.6 and 11.5. Maximum flocculation occurs between pH 6.8 and 7.2. An attempt is made to relate the behavior of the various systems to the surface characteristics of the minerals and the surface and chemical properties of microorganism and its derivatives. Experimentation used to evaluate the flocculation includes actual flocculation tests, microelectrophoresis measurements and scanning electron microscopy.
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