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Minerals 2018, 8(4), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8040173

Insights into the Surface Transformation and Electrochemical Dissolution Process of Bornite in Bioleaching

1
School of Minerals Processing & Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
2
Key Lab of Biohydrometallurgy of Ministry of Education, Changsha 410083, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Complex Nonferrous Metal Resources Clean Utilization, Kunming 650093, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018

Abstract

In this work, density functional theory (DFT) calculations, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and electrochemistry analysis were combined to analyze the electrochemical dissolution process of bornite during bioleaching. DFT calculations showed that bornite was a conductor with metallic conductivity. The formula of bornite may be (Cu+)5Fe3+(S2−)4 and the surface reconstruction of (111)-S surface was discussed. Electrochemistry and XPS analysis showed that bornite tended to be directly oxidized with high conductivity when the potential was higher than 0.3 V vs. Ag/AgCl. Elemental sulfur (S0), FeOOH and CuS were the main intermediate species on the bornite surface during the oxidation process. The production of S0 and FeOOH on bornite surface can be significantly accelerated with increased redox potential, but no insoluble sulfate (SO42−) formed on bornite surface in 0.3–0.65 V vs. Ag/AgCl. The oxidative dissolution of bornite was significantly accelerated with increasing redox potential, which was one important reason why mixed culture was more effective than single strains of A. caldus and L. ferriphilum in bornite bioleaching. The insoluble SO42− was formed mainly through the chemical reactions in solution and then covered the bornite surface in bioleaching. Based on the obtained results, a model for interpreting the dissolution process of bornite in bioleaching was proposed. View Full-Text
Keywords: bornite; bioleaching; surface transformation; dissolution process; moderately thermophilic microorganisms bornite; bioleaching; surface transformation; dissolution process; moderately thermophilic microorganisms
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Zhao, H.; Huang, X.; Hu, M.; Zhang, C.; Zhang, Y.; Wang, J.; Qin, W.; Qiu, G. Insights into the Surface Transformation and Electrochemical Dissolution Process of Bornite in Bioleaching. Minerals 2018, 8, 173.

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