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Microbial community dynamics during a demonstration-scale bioheap leaching operation

Halinen, AK, Beecroft, NJ, Määttä, K, Nurmi, P, Laukkanen, K, Kaksonen, AH, Riekkola-Vanhanen, M and Puhakka, JA (2012) Microbial community dynamics during a demonstration-scale bioheap leaching operation Hydrometallurgy, 125-12. pp. 34-41.

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In the present work the microbial community of a low grade nickel ore demonstration-scale bioheap was examined under varying weather (outside air temperature between + 30 and - 39 °C) and operational conditions over a period of three years in Talvivaara, Finland. After the start-up of heap irrigation, oxidation of pyrrhotite and pyrite increased the heap temperature up to 90 °C. Leach liquor temperatures varied between 60 and 15 °C over the operation period, affecting the progress of sulfide ore oxidation. The microbial communities were profiled by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) - denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) followed by partial sequencing of 16S rRNA gene. Large temperature gradients prevailed resulting in the simultaneous presence of active mesophilic and thermophilic iron- and/or sulfur-oxidisers in the heap. As mineral oxidation progressed microbial diversity decreased and Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans became increasingly dominant. The number of bacteria in the leach liquors was in the range of 10 5-10 7 cells mL - 1. After one year of bioheap operation several ore samples were drilled from the heap and A. ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus caldus, an uncultured bacterium clone H70 related organism, Ferrimicrobium acidiphilum and a bacterium related to Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans were found. Cell counts from the ore samples varied between 10 5 and 10 7 cells g - 1 ore sample. The archaeal species present in leach liquors were novel and related to uncultivated species. During the secondary leaching phase the leaching community remained steady. A. ferrooxidans dominated, and an uncultured bacterium clone H70-related organism and Leptospirillum ferrooxidans were present. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Halinen, AK
Määttä, K
Nurmi, P
Laukkanen, K
Kaksonen, AH
Riekkola-Vanhanen, M
Puhakka, JA
Date : 1 August 2012
DOI : 10.1016/j.hydromet.2012.05.001
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 12:31
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 22:23

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