Remediation of Acid Rock Drainage by Inducing Biological Iron Reduction
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 2000
Competition between Thiobacillus ferrooxidans and non-iron-oxidizing heterotrophic bacteria was induced by the addition of glucose to a co-culture of T. ferrooxidans and A. acidophilum in an oxygen-limited environment. Iron oxidation was inhibited as dissolved oxygen was used preferentially for glucose metabolism. Furthermore, as the water became anoxic, glucose was consumed along with the oxidized iron species (Fe3+) during iron respiration resulting in a pH increase from 2.0 to 4.0. Results suggest that biologically mediated acidification of drainage water can be reversed by dispersion of an easy to degrade, soluble, and inexpensive carbon source such as glucose into the subsurface.