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Total dissolved solids and their effects on iron oxidation by chemolithotrophic cells

Blight, K.R., Candy, R.M., Menzel, M.J.M. and Ralph, D.E. (2012) Total dissolved solids and their effects on iron oxidation by chemolithotrophic cells. Hydrometallurgy, 125-126 . pp. 109-114.

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    Continuous growth of an acidophilic, chemolithotrophic bacterial culture in minimal iron media, was investigated over a range of TDS values. The specific cell parameters, iron oxidation rates, growth rates and observed yields at fixed solution potentials were compared over a range of TDS values but with the same total iron concentrations. By perturbing the steady state at any set point it was possible to estimate the population of sessile cells and calculate values for the specific cell parameters. The TDS was increased by addition of Na 2SO 4 which produced no toxic effects and allowed a flourishing culture. There was however a significant inhibition of the specific iron oxidation rates which were reduced by more than 75% by the increase in TDS from 0.05 to 0.4 M. A framework for understanding the observed result, based on the ionic strength (I) rather than TDS, is suggested. The oxidation of iron is an important sub-process in hydrometallurgy and TDS values of 0.4 M are modest from an operational perspective so these results may point to potential problems during long term operation where TDS can accumulate without otherwise interfering.

    Publication Type: Journal Article
    Murdoch Affiliation: Parker Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions
    School of Chemical and Mathematical Science
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Copyright: © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
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