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Ferrous Sulphate Oxidation using Thiobacillus ferrooxidans Cells Immobilised on Sand for the Purpose of Treating Acid Mine Drainage

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Grant Burgess


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Thiobacillus ferrooxidans was immobilised on sand (size 0.85 mm to 1.18 mm) for use in a repeated batch and continuously operated packed-bed bioreactor which has not been previously reported in the literature. Repeated batch operation resulted in the complete oxidation of ferrous to ferric iron. The bacteria were active immediately after 3-4 weeks in a non-aqueous medium; i.e. the sand was allowed to dry out, demonstrating the stability of the system. A lag phase of 28 days was recorded when the sand was stored dried in a sealed container for 16 weeks compared with a lag phase of 13 days for a sample frozen for 18 weeks. After a period of 10 days, continuous operation of the reactor at a dilution rate of 0.64 h-1 resulted in 95-99% oxidation of ferrous iron or 0.31-0.33 kg m-3 h-1. With the use of a scanning electron microscope, images were recorded of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans on sand.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burgess JG; Wood TA; Murray KR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

Year: 2001

Volume: 56

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 560-565

Print publication date: 01/08/2001

ISSN (print): 0175-7598

ISSN (electronic): 1432-0614

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s002530100604

PubMed id: 11549038


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