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Minerals 2018, 8(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020035

Synthesis of Copper Sulfide Nanoparticles Using Biogenic H2S Produced by a Low-pH Sulfidogenic Bioreactor

1
Facultad de Ingeniería y Tecnología, Universidad San Sebastián, Lientur 1457, Concepción 4080871, Chile
2
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4218, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acid Mine Drainage Recovery)
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Abstract

The application of acidophilic sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) for the treatment of acidic mine water has been recently developed to integrate mine water remediation and selective biomineralization. The use of biogenic hydrogen sulfide (H2S) produced from the dissimilatory reduction of sulfate to fabricate valuable products such as metallic sulfide nanoparticles has potential applications in green chemistry. Here we report on the operation of a low-pH sulfidogenic bioreactor, inoculated with an anaerobic sediment obtained from an acid river in northern Chile, to recover copper via the production of copper sulfide nanoparticles using biogenic H2S. The laboratory-scale system was operated as a continuous flow mode for up to 100 days and the bioreactor pH was maintained by the automatic addition of a pH 2.2 influent liquor to compensate for protons consumed by biosulfidogenesis. The “clean” copper sulfide nanoparticles, produced in a two-step process using bacterially generated sulfide, were examined using transmission electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, energy dispersive (X-ray) spectroscopy and UV-Vis spectroscopy. The results demonstrated a uniform nanoparticle size distribution with an average diameter of less than 50 nm. Overall, we demonstrated the production of biogenic H2S using a system designed for the treatment of acid mine water that holds potential for large-scale abiotic synthesis of copper sulfide nanoparticles. View Full-Text
Keywords: copper sulfide; nanoparticles; sulfate reduction; bioreactor copper sulfide; nanoparticles; sulfate reduction; bioreactor
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Colipai, C.; Southam, G.; Oyarzún, P.; González, D.; Díaz, V.; Contreras, B.; Nancucheo, I. Synthesis of Copper Sulfide Nanoparticles Using Biogenic H2S Produced by a Low-pH Sulfidogenic Bioreactor. Minerals 2018, 8, 35.

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