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Article

Effect of Temperature on Biobeneficiation of Bulk Copper-Nickel Concentrate with Thermoacidophilic Microbial Communities

1
Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology, Research Centre “Fundamentals of Biotechnology”, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Ave., 33, Bld. 2, 119071 Moscow, Russia
2
Federal Research and Clinical Centre of Physical-Chemical Medicine, Federal Medical Biological Agency, 119435 Moscow, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stefano Ubaldini
Metals 2021, 11(12), 1969; https://doi.org/10.3390/met11121969
Received: 30 October 2021 / Revised: 30 November 2021 / Accepted: 3 December 2021 / Published: 7 December 2021
Bioleaching of the bulk copper–nickel sulfide concentrate was proposed as a method to remove nickel from it and to obtain a concentrate containing copper as chalcopyrite. This approach is based on the different refractoriness of sulfide minerals in ferric sulfate solutions and oxidation by acidophilic microorganisms. The bulk concentrate contained 10.8% copper in the form of chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and 7.2% nickel that occurred in pentlandite ((Ni,Fe)9S8) and violarite (FeNi2S4). Three microbial communities grown at 35, 40, and 50 °C were used for bioleaching. The microbial community at 40 °C was the most diverse in the genus and species composition. At all temperatures of the process, the key roles in bioleaching belonged to mixotrophic and heterotrophic acidophiles. The highest levels of nickel leaching of 97.2 and 96.3% were observed in the case of communities growing at 40 and 50 °C, respectively. At the same time, the bioleach residue, which could be characterized as a marketable high-grade copper (chalcopyrite) concentrate, was obtained only at 40 °C. This solid contained 15.6% copper and 0.54% nickel. Thus, the biobeneficiation of bulk sulfide concentrates can be a promising field of biohydrometallurgy. View Full-Text
Keywords: bulk concentrate; biobeneficiation; selective bioleaching; biohydrometallurgy; nickel dissolution; acidophilic microbial communities bulk concentrate; biobeneficiation; selective bioleaching; biohydrometallurgy; nickel dissolution; acidophilic microbial communities
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MDPI and ACS Style

Panyushkina, A.; Fomchenko, N.; Babenko, V.; Muravyov, M. Effect of Temperature on Biobeneficiation of Bulk Copper-Nickel Concentrate with Thermoacidophilic Microbial Communities. Metals 2021, 11, 1969. https://doi.org/10.3390/met11121969

AMA Style

Panyushkina A, Fomchenko N, Babenko V, Muravyov M. Effect of Temperature on Biobeneficiation of Bulk Copper-Nickel Concentrate with Thermoacidophilic Microbial Communities. Metals. 2021; 11(12):1969. https://doi.org/10.3390/met11121969

Chicago/Turabian Style

Panyushkina, Anna, Natalya Fomchenko, Vladislav Babenko, and Maxim Muravyov. 2021. "Effect of Temperature on Biobeneficiation of Bulk Copper-Nickel Concentrate with Thermoacidophilic Microbial Communities" Metals 11, no. 12: 1969. https://doi.org/10.3390/met11121969

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