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Minerals 2016, 6(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/min6010012

A New Heterotrophic Strain for Bioleaching of Low Grade Complex Copper Ore

1
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
2
Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education of China for High-Efficient Mining and Safety of Metal Mines, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anna H. Kaksonen
Received: 9 November 2015 / Accepted: 25 January 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
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Abstract

A new heterotrophic strain, named Providencia sp. JAT-1, was isolated and used in bioleaching of low-grade complex copper ore. The strain uses sodium citrate as a carbon source and urea as a nitrogen source to produce ammonia. The optimal growth condition of the strain is 30 °C, initial pH 8, sodium citrate 10 g/L and urea 20 g/L, under which the cell density and ammonia concentration in the medium reached a maximum of 4.83 × 108 cells/mL and 14 g/L, respectively. Ammonia produced by the strain is used as the main lixiviant in bioleaching. Bioleaching results revealed that higher strain growth led to a higher copper recovery, while higher pulp density will cause a greater inhibitory effect on strain growth and ammonia production. The copper extraction reached the highest value of 54.5% at the pulp density of 1%. Malachite, chrysocolla and chalcocite are easy to leach out in this bioleaching system while chalcopyrite is difficult. Results of comparative leaching experiments show that bioleaching using JAT-1 is superior to ammonia leaching at the same condition. The metabolites produced by the strain other than ammonia are also involved in bioleaching. View Full-Text
Keywords: isolation; heterotrophic; bioleaching; alkaline condition; low grade copper ore isolation; heterotrophic; bioleaching; alkaline condition; low grade copper ore
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Hu, K.; Wu, A.; Wang, H.; Wang, S. A New Heterotrophic Strain for Bioleaching of Low Grade Complex Copper Ore. Minerals 2016, 6, 12.

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