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A novel experimental system for the study of microbial ecology and mineral leaching within a simulated agglomerate-scale heap bioleaching system

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
2954 144 2015 12 PDF Available
Title
A novel experimental system for the study of microbial ecology and mineral leaching within a simulated agglomerate-scale heap bioleaching system
Abstract

•Design of multiple, mini-column reactors to simulate grab samples from a heap bioleach.•Sacrifice of a mini-column in test represents a time point in data series for microbial growth.•Independently quantify microorganisms in flowing and stagnant solution and on ore.

Heap bioleaching systems are complex, with multiple sub-processes interacting at various scales within the heterogeneous reaction environment. This provides a challenge to determining the growth characteristics of micro-organisms and reaction characteristics of the mineral ore in a representative environment. The experimental system presented in this paper was designed to simulate heap bioleaching conditions using multiple, identically constructed agglomerate-scale mini-column reactors. Ore samples were prepared representatively as grab samples of a larger heap. Particle size distributions and agglomerate masses of the prepared ore samples were shown to be similar within acceptable variance and provided comparable surface areas for microbial colonisation and chemical reaction. The microbial abundance within the whole ore system was determined from effluent sampling for the planktonic population and the systematic and sequential sacrifice of identically operated mini-column reactors to determine the change in the ore-associated microbial population with time. Microbial colonisation and growth rate kinetics were determined from analysis of these populations. The growth curves obtained for the bulk flowing solution and ore-associated populations at the base case operating conditions were reproducible, within a 95% confidence interval.

Keywords
Heap bioleaching; Packed bed reactors; Design; Heterogeneous reaction; Microbial growth; Immobilised cells; Microbial colonisation
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A novel experimental system for the study of microbial ecology and mineral leaching within a simulated agglomerate-scale heap bioleaching system
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Biochemical Engineering Journal - Volume 95, 15 March 2015, Pages 86–97
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
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Full-text PDF Download
Online Support
Any Questions? feel free to contact us