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A novel approach coupling ferrous iron bio-oxidation and ferric iron chemo-reduction to promote biomineralization in simulated acidic mine drainage

Wang, Ning, Fang, Di, Zheng, Guanyu, Liang, Jianru, Zhou, Lixiang
RSC advances 2019 v.9 no.9 pp. 5083-5090
Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, acid mine drainage, aluminum, bacteria, biomineralization, chemical reduction, copper, coprecipitation, iron, manganese, microbial activity, neutralization, nutrition, oxidation, sulfates, zinc
A novel Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans-mediated approach coupling biological oxidation and chemical reduction for treating acid mine drainage (AMD) was investigated. The results showed that controlled addition of zero valent iron (ZVI) into the coupling system did not exhibit a significant adverse influence on the bacterial activity of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans but markedly increased the formation of secondary Fe-minerals. Nutrition did not affect the efficiency of coupling process, except for the bacteria density of A. ferrooxidans. 2 days cyclic treatment performed better than that of 4 and 8 days. After 14 cycles of the coupling process, 89.4% of total iron (2.23 g L⁻¹) was transferred into Fe-minerals finally. In addition, the combined system was highly effective in removing sulfate (63%) from a simulated AMD that contained soluble Cu, Zn, Al, and Mn. Valuable iron-sulfate material e.g. schwertmannite was formed with little co-precipitation of other metals. Therefore, the integration of A. ferrooxidans into the reduction by ZVI may have considerable potential in the enhancement of biomineralization efficiency, which may further decrease soluble TFe and sulfate loads in AMD before lime neutralization.