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Microbially induced separation of arsenopyrite and bioremediation of arsenic

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2009, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 217-221

Chandraprabha, M.N.; Natarajan, K.A.


This paper discusses the role of the mineral-adapted acidiphilic microorganism Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans in the beneficiation of arsenopyrite-containing multisulfides (pyrite and chalcopyrite) and the bioremediation of the resulting arsenical waste water. It was found that adaptation to minerals alters the surface properties of the microorganism. Bacterial adaptation to arsenopyrite and controlled bacterial adhesion to mineral surfaces lead to selectivity in arsenopyrite separation. Bioremoval of arsenic ions (both arsenite and arsenate ions) by A. ferrooxidans is also discussed.