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Surface Texture Changes due to the Oxidation of Pyrite by Acidithiobacillus Ferrooxidans
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Surface Texture Changes due to the Oxidation of Pyrite by Acidithiobacillus Ferrooxidans
Yu, Jae-Young; Koh, Hyun-Jin; Song, Hong-Gyu;
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A batch experiment of pyrite oxidation was performed and the surfaces of the reacted pyrite were regularly observed with the scanning electron microscope (SEM) together with the chemical compositions of the solution to help understand the oxidation mechanisms of pyrite by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (Af). The dissolved Fe concentrations clearly indicated that Af experiences the lag and then exponential growth phase. An Af cell was observed to be attached to the surface of pyrite during the lag, implying that a direct leaching by the microbe really happens for the period. It is not certain, however, whether the main mechanism of pyrite oxidation during that time was the direct leaching or not, because there were just a few cells confirmed to be attached and most of the dissolved Fe was Fe(III). The dissolved Fe concentration stayed almost constant from the mid-lag phase to just before the onset of the exponential phase, suggesting that AI needs an adaptation time to switch its oxidation mechanism from one to the other whichever it is during that stage of growth. The moment of Af's cell division was observed by SEM on the surface of pyrite during the lag phase. The corrosion outline around the dividing cell was quite similar to the shape of the cell itself, which implies that the rate of the microbial oxidation is very uneven and the rate when the cell metabolizes should be much faster than that calculated from the concentration variation of the dissolved Fe. The number of etch holes by Af is much higher on the inoculated surfaces, indicating the average rate of pyrite oxidation is also much faster than that of abiotic oxidation. The microbial etch holes on pyrite surface are small and deep, which may influence the transition of the growth phases of Af from lag to exponential.
Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans;pyrite oxidation;pyrite surface;SEM;
 Cited by
미생물에 의한 티탄철석의 물리적 특성 변화,박영호;강대완;강성승;

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