Reductive Action of Activated Carbon on Ferric Iron Interferes on the Determination of the Oxidative Activity of Acidithiobacillus Ferrooxidans on Ferrous Iron
Ferrous iron oxidation studies in the presence of activated carbon were conducted at 30 °C in basal medium at pH 1.6 with a pure strain of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. Two-chamber modified shake flasks were used in these experiments, which prevented direct contact between the microorganisms and the carbon contained in the flasks. This design permitted an accurate determination of bacterial population during the experiment and enabled the involvement of ferric iron reduction with carbon to be evidenced. Notably, iron was initially added as ferric iron in a concentration of 3 g/L. It could be observed that bacteria could grow in this condition evidencing that bacteria was in fact oxidizing ferrous ion produced from reduction of ferric by carbon. From complementary experiments in which activated carbon was contacted with abiotic solutions containing ferric ion in the concentration range 0.1 – 1.2 g/l, the chemical reductive action of carbon of ferric iron was confirmed and a kinetic expression for this reaction was determined. A mathematical model was developed which incorporated expressions for the kinetic of bacterial oxidation of ferrous ion and the chemical reduction of ferric ion. This model enabled the prediction of the rate of bacterial growth and ferrous ion oxidation in a bioreactor as a function of the initial concentrations of iron, activated carbon and bacterial population. Results in this work imply that the observed variations in activity observed by other authors during bacterial oxidation of ferrous iron with A. ferrooxidans adsorbed on carbon can be in fact related to bacterial utilization of supplementary ferrous iron produced by the chemical action of carbon, phenomenon which is not explicitly accounted for.
Edgardo R. Donati, Marisa R. Viera, Eduardo L. Tavani, María A. Giaveno, Teresa L. Lavalle, Patricia A. Chiacchiarini
T. Vargas et al., "Reductive Action of Activated Carbon on Ferric Iron Interferes on the Determination of the Oxidative Activity of Acidithiobacillus Ferrooxidans on Ferrous Iron", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 71-73, pp. 291-294, 2009