The Production of Soluble Ferric Sulfate via Biological and Chemical Processing of Iron Sulfides
Ferric sulfate is a very useful reagent for mineral leaching and metal recovery. Ferric sulfate may be used as an oxidative leaching agent for uranium, zinc, copper, nickel and other ores. Ferric ion is a modestly strong oxidant. Similarly, the use of ferric co-precipitation to stabilize arsenic, selenium and other species is in wide use. The demand for ferric sulfate for this application is increasing. Pyrite and pyrrhotite represent minerals that are widely available as sources of soluble iron to provide ferric sulfate for leaching and for iron co-precipitation. The use of biological processes for oxidation of pyrite is well established. However, the common goal is to use biological oxidation to liberate a valuable material (eg. Gold locked in arsenopyrite or pyrite). Much less attention has been paid to production of soluble iron for leaching of other minerals or for use as a precipitant. The use of chemical processes such as atmospheric and pressure oxidation may also be used to generate ferric sulfate from iron sulfide minerals. In this paper the use of biological and chemical processing for production of ferric sulfate will be reviewed and discussed.
M. Zaki Mubarok, Siti Khodijah Chaerun, Wahyudin Prawira Minwal, Fadhli Muhammad and Killang Pratama
D. Dreisinger et al., "The Production of Soluble Ferric Sulfate via Biological and Chemical Processing of Iron Sulfides", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 1130, pp. 89-92, 2015