Influence of Ferric and Ferrous Iron on Chemical and Bacterial Leaching of Copper Flotation Concentrates


The effects of ferrous and ferric iron as well as redox potential on copper and iron extraction from the copper flotation concentrate of Sarcheshmeh, Kerman, Iran, were evaluated using shake flask leaching examinations. Experiments were carried out in the presence and absence of a mixed culture of moderately thermophile microorganisms at 50?C. Chemical leaching experiments were performed in the absence and presence of 0.15 M iron (ferric added medium, ferrous added medium and a mixture medium regulated at 420 mV, Pt. vs. Ag/AgCl). In addition, bioleaching experiments were carried out in the presence and absence of 0.1 M iron (ferric and ferrous added mediua) at pulp density 10% (w/v), inoculated bacteria 20% (v/v), initial pH 1.6, nutrient medium Norris and yeast extract addition 0.02% (w/w). Abiotic leaching tests showed that the addition of iron at low solution redox potentials significantly increased the rate and extent of copper dissolution but when ferric iron was added, despite a higher initial rate of copper dissolution, leaching process stopped. Addition of both ferrous and ferric iron to the bioleaching medium levelled off the copper extraction and had an inhibitory effect which decreased the final redox potential. The monitoring of ferrous iron, ferric iron and copper extraction in leach solutions gave helpful results to understand the behaviour of iron cations during chemical and bacterial leaching processes.

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Ahmadi, A. (2012) Influence of Ferric and Ferrous Iron on Chemical and Bacterial Leaching of Copper Flotation Concentrates. International Journal of Nonferrous Metallurgy, 1, 42-48. doi: 10.4236/ijnm.2012.13006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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