|Title||Arsenic removal by controlled biological iron oxidation reactions|
|Author(s)||Contreras, Paula Gonzalez; Dijkman, Henk; Vega, Silvia; Sánchez-Andrea, Irene; Weijma, Jan; Buisman, Cees|
|Source||In: IMPC 2016 - 28th International Mineral Processing Congress. - Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum - ISBN 9781510859388 - p. 80 - 89.|
|Event||28th International Mineral Processing Congress, IMPC 2016, Quebec City, 2016-09-11/2016-09-15|
|Publication type||Contribution in proceedings|
|Keyword(s)||Arsenic precipitation - Biological oxidation - Iron biological conversions - Jarosite - Scorodite|
More than 20 years ago, Paques B.V. introduced innovative biotechnologies to recover metals and to remove sulfate from aqueous streams. These technologies find their origin in the exploration of microorganisms involved in the global sulfur cycle. Currently, several sulfur cycle biotechnologies are applied successfully at full-scale. The sulfur cycle is closely linked with the iron cycle, and also the latter offers opportunities for application of innovative biotechnology for the mining industry. Microorganisms of the natural iron cycle carry out reactions that are not feasible by chemical methods such as ferrous iron oxidation with oxygen at pH below 4. Iron oxidation with oxygen can be conducted using microorganisms living at pH between 0.5 and 7 and at temperatures between 0 and 95ºC. Remarkably these microorganisms can also carry out arsenite oxidation at similar acidic conditions and high temperatures. Making use of the extreme features of these microorganisms, Paques and Wageningen University have developed a biological process to precipitate arsenic as scorodite. This biological formation of scorodite is a novel combination of biological oxidation and biocrystallization. Depending on the level of saturation, biological oxidation rates and operational conditions, we could control the formation of the iron precipitates such as jarosite and scorodite. Currently new microorganisms have been harvested from hot springs and rock acid mine drainage to foster the growth of specialized microbial communities with potential high iron and arsenic oxidation capacities and higher resistance to other metals. In our paper we address the ongoing research and development of the bioscorodite process.