Sulfidogenesis at Low pH by Acidophilic Bacteria and its Potential for the Selective Recovery of Transition Metals from Mine Waters
Biosulfidogenesis (the generation of hydrogen sulfide by microorganisms) in acidic liquors was investigated using two metabolically-distinct bacteria. One was a novel acidophilic sulfate-reducing bacterium (isolate CL4) that grew at pH 3.0 and above using glycerol as electron donor, and the other was the type strain of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans which was grown at pH 2.5 using hydrogen (derived from dissolution of metallic iron) as electron donor and elemental sulfur as electron acceptor. Both bacteria were grown in pH-controlled bioreactors. Isolate CL4 mediated the selective precipitation of zinc in situ, while the At. ferrooxidans bioreactor operated as an off-line system, generating hydrogen sulfide that precipitated copper in a separate reaction vessel. The potential of using acidophilic sulfidogens for the selective recovery of metals from acidic waste streams is discussed.
Edgardo R. Donati, Marisa R. Viera, Eduardo L. Tavani, María A. Giaveno, Teresa L. Lavalle, Patricia A. Chiacchiarini
D. B. Johnson et al., "Sulfidogenesis at Low pH by Acidophilic Bacteria and its Potential for the Selective Recovery of Transition Metals from Mine Waters", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 71-73, pp. 693-696, 2009