Inhibitory effect of iron-oxidizing bacteria on ferrous-promoted chalcopyrite leaching

Naoki Hiroyoshi, Masahiko Hirota, Tsuyoshi Hirajima, Masami Tsunekawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


It is generally accepted that iron-oxidizing bacteria, Thiobacillus ferrooxidans, enhance chalcopyrite leaching. However, this article details a case of the bacteria suppressing chalcopyrite leaching. Bacterial leaching experiments were performed with sulfuric acid solutions containing 0 or 0.04 mol/dm3 ferrous sulfate. Without ferrous sulfate, the bacteria enhance copper extraction and oxidation of ferrous ions released from chalcopyrite. However, the bacteria suppressed chalcopyrite leaching when ferrous sulfate was added. This is mainly due to the bacterial consumption of ferrous ions which act as a promoter for chalcopyrite oxidation with dissolved oxygen. Coprecipitation of copper ions with jarosite formed by the bacterial ferrous oxidation also causes the bacterial suppression of copper extraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-483
Number of pages6
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 20 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inhibitory effect of iron-oxidizing bacteria on ferrous-promoted chalcopyrite leaching'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this