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Revista Colombiana de Biotecnología

Print version ISSN 0123-3475


PRADA FONSECA, María; CAICEDO PINEDA, Gerardo  and  MARQUEZ GODOY, Marco. Comparison of the oxidative potential of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, in biodesulphurization process of coal. Rev. colomb. biotecnol [online]. 2016, vol.18, n.1, pp.57-64. ISSN 0123-3475.

This study aimed comparing the oxidative activity of two strains of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans in a desulphurization process, using a sub-bituminous coal with a high sulfur content (2.30% total sulfur: 1.06% as pyritic, 1.10% as organic and 0.14% from sulfates) from "La Guacamaya" mine, located in Puerto Libertador - Cordoba, Colombia. Several assays were performed in Erlenmeyer flasks, the total iron concentration used in solution were 200 mg/L and 1200 mg/L respectively, using ferrous sulfate. The process was monitored by periodically measuring the main physicochemical factors involved (pH, Eh, cell population and iron in solution). According to the results obtained, the highest efficiency of the process was achieved by working with microorganisms compatible with Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and initial concentration of 1200 mg/l of ferrous sulfate, which had higher pyrite oxidation rates (Py oxidized) up to 68% and the best experimental conditions in the leaching medium (pH: 1,47; Eh: 625 mV; 6.3×108 cells/mL), in comparison with the axenic culture on the same conditions (Py oxidized: 52%; pH: 1,63; Eh: 580 mV; 5.1×108cells/mL), after 12 days of experimentation.

Keywords : bacteria; pyrite; bioleaching; ferrous sulfate.

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