Bacterial Metal Sulfide Degradation - Pathways, Inhibition Measures, and Monitoring

Schippers, Alex ; Jozsa, Peter-Georg ; Gehrke, Tilman ; Rohwerder, Thore ; Sand, Wolfgang
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Metal sulfides are degraded via thiosulfate (pyrite) or via polysulfides and sulfur (sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite) by leaching bacteria The attack on the crystal lattice is either effected by only iron(III) ions or by iron(III) ions and protons, respectively. Consequently, different endproducts are formed. For a control of ARD-processes, these reactions need to be hown to regulate them. Experiments in percolators up to 65 m3 with inorganic compounds like fluoride, concrete, or SDS resulted in differently lasting inhibition. Microcalorimetric measurements of microbial leach activity allow monitoring of these effects with respect to active bacterial cells, and, in addition, the amount or rate of dissolved metal sulfide allowing prediction of possible endangerment by ARD.
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