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Bioleaching of Copper from Low Grade Ore Bornite Using Halophilic Thiobacillus Ferroxidans, N-11

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Dept. of Microbiology, Rajaram College, Kolhapur, MaharashtraState, INDIA

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 2, Issue (ISC-2012), Pages 162-166, February,2 (2013)


Bioleaching is a process of extracting minerals from ores using microorganisms. The extraction of copper from low grade ores is today’s need because of gradual depletion of high grade ore. The conventional methods used for extraction of copper from ore is either Pyrometallurgy or Hydrometallurgy, however both the methods are not free from the environmental pollution problems and economically very expensive, and requires lots of energy. Bioleaching of mineral is the only method considered as most convincing way to solve these problems, requires very less energy and is free from environmental pollution and other problems. By considering this, In the present study Halophillic Thiobacillus ferroxidans N-11 is explored for bioleaching of copper from low grade ore Bornite. Thiobacillus ferroxidans N-11 isolated from hyper saline soils of Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, India on 9 K medium. It was identified using Bergey’s manual of systematic bacteriology. Bioleaching study was carried out in both shake flask as well as bioreactor. Results showed that in the shake flask Thiobacillus ferroxidans N-11 tolerates 35 g/L of Bornite when supplemented with 0.5 g/L of Yeast extract. At 120 rpm and 40 O C temperature, about 72% of copper can be extracted after 22 days by shake flask method and 78% can be extracted by bioreactor study in 20 days. Present study indicated the usefulness of Thiobacillus ferroxidans N-11 in bioleaching of copper from low grade ore Bornite can be used as a potential candidate for bioleaching as a pollution free process.


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