Process Performance Of Bacterial Leaching Reactors: The Contribution Of Mathematical Modelling

Crundwell, F. K.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Bacterial leaching represents an unusual problem in biochemical engineering, because the substrate for bacterial growth is not supplied directly, but is a product of another reaction, the leaching of mineral particles. Leaching arises from the bacterial oxidation of ferrous ions to ferric ions, which in turn oxidize the mineral. For the bacterial dissolution of pyrite, these reactions are: [ ] (Y represents a stoichiometric yield factor, and N represents the amount of bacteria.) Equations [1] and [2] represent a cyclic auto-catalytic system since more ferric ions are added to the system with an increase in the extent of leaching.
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