Kinetics of Microbial Ferrous-Iron Oxidation by Leptospirillum Ferriphilum: Effect of Ferric-Iron on Biomass Growth
The kinetics of microbial ferrous-iron oxidation have been well studied as it is a critical sub-process in bioleaching of sulphide minerals. Exhaustive studies in continuous culture have been carried out recently, investigating the effects of conditions relevant to heap bioleaching on the microbial ferrous-iron oxidation by Leptospirillum ferriphilum [1-3]. It was postulated that ferric-iron, which is known to be inhibitory, also acts as a stress stimulus, promoting microbial growth at higher total iron concentration. This paper investigates this phenomenon further, by comparing tests run with pure ferrous-iron feeds against those where the feed is partially oxidised to ferric at comparable concentrations. The findings clearly suggest that, contrary to reactor theory, it is indeed ferrous iron concentration in the reactor feed that determines biomass concentration and that ferric iron concentration has little effect on microbial growth. Further mathematical analysis shows that the phenomenon can be explained on the basis of the Pirt equation and the particular reaction conditions employed in the test work.
Edgardo R. Donati, Marisa R. Viera, Eduardo L. Tavani, María A. Giaveno, Teresa L. Lavalle, Patricia A. Chiacchiarini
T. V. Ojumu and J. Petersen, "Kinetics of Microbial Ferrous-Iron Oxidation by Leptospirillum Ferriphilum: Effect of Ferric-Iron on Biomass Growth", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 71-73, pp. 259-262, 2009