The leaching of sulfide minerals by Thiobacillus ferrooxidans involves a series of chemical and biochemical reactions. These have been set out in various publications (Tuovinen and Kelly, 1972: Brierley, C.L., 1978: Le Roux et al., 1974). It seemed possible that thermophilic microbes might be contributing to metal leaching in sulfidic environments where the exothermic reactions gave rise to elevated temperatures. The presence of such microbes has since been demonstrated (Brierley and Lockwood, 1977; Brierley, J.A., 1978). In order to examine the possibility of enhancing metal extraction rates at elevated temperatures, a moderately thermophilic bacterial culture, isolated from a geothermal area in Iceland (Le Roux et al., 1977), was examined using various sulfides as substrates. No attempt was made to purify this culture.
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- The Leaching of Sulfide Ores by a Thermophilic Bacterium
N. W. Le Roux
D. S. Wakerley
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg