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Metals 2019, 9(2), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9020206

Covellite (CuS) Production from a Real Acid Mine Drainage Treated with Biogenic H2S

1
SENAI Innovation Institute for Mineral Technologies, National Service for Industrial Training (SENAI), Belém/PA 66035-405, Brazil
2
Instituto Tecnológico Vale, Belém/PA 66055-090, Brazil
3
Facultad de Ingeniería y Tecnología, Universidad San Sebastián, Concepción 4080871, Chile
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 9 February 2019
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Abstract

Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is an environmental problem associated with mining activities, which resulted from the exposure of sulfur bearing materials to oxygen and water. AMD is a pollution source due to its extreme acidity, high concentration of sulfate, and soluble metals. Biological AMD treatment is one alternative to couple environmental amelioration for valuable dissolved metals recovery, as a new source of raw materials. Covellite (CuS) particles were synthetized from an AMD sample collected in a Brazilian copper mine, after 48 and 96 h of exposure to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) produced in a bioreactor containing acidophilic sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB). The time of exposure affected the morphology, nucleation, and size of CuS crystals. CuS crystals synthetized after 96 h of H2S exposure showed better ordination as indicated by sharp and intense diffractograms obtained by X-ray diffraction (XRD), and the predominance of placoid sheets with hexagonal habit structure as observed by scanning electrons microscopy (SEM). Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrometry indicated a Cu:S molar ratio in agreement with CuS. Granulometric analysis demonstrated that 90% of CuS particles were less than 22 µm size. AMD biological treatment is a potential economical CuS recovery option for metallurgical process chain incorporation, or new industrial applications, since the alteration of synthesis conditions can produce different crystal forms with specific characteristics. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomining; biosulfidogenesis; acid mine drainage; copper; waste management biomining; biosulfidogenesis; acid mine drainage; copper; waste management
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Silva, P.M.P.; Lucheta, A.R.; Bitencourt, J.A.P.; Carmo, A.L.V.; Cuevas, I.P.Ñ.; Siqueira, J.O.; Oliveira, G.C.; Alves, J.O. Covellite (CuS) Production from a Real Acid Mine Drainage Treated with Biogenic H2S. Metals 2019, 9, 206.

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