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Title: Direct Biohydrometallurgical Extraction of Iron from Ore

Abstract

A completely novel approach to iron extraction was investigated, based on reductive leaching of iron by anaerobic bacteria. Microorganisms were collected from an anaerobic bog where natural seepage of dissolved iron was observed. This mixed culture was used to reduce insoluble iron in a magnetite ore to the soluble ferrous (Fe{sup +2}) state. While dissolution rates were slow, concentrations of dissolved iron as high as 3487 mg/l could be reached if sufficient time was allowed. A factorial study of the effects of trace nutrients and different forms of organic matter indicated that the best dissolution rates and highest dissolved iron concentrations were achieved using soluble carbohydrate (sucrose) as the bacterial food source, and that nutrients other than nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and acetate were not necessary. A key factor in reaching high levels of dissolved iron was maintaining a high level of carbon dioxide in solution, since the solubility of iron carbonates increases markedly as the quantity of dissolved carbon dioxide increases. Once the iron is dissolved, it has been demonstrated that the ferrous iron can then be electroplated from solution, provided that the concentration of iron is sufficiently high and the hydrogen ion concentration is sufficiently low. However, ifmore » the leaching solution is electrolyzed directly, organic matter precipitates at the cathode along with the metallic iron. To prevent this problem, the ferrous iron should be separated from the bulk solution in a more concentrated, purified form. One route to accomplishing this is to take advantage of the change in solubility of ferrous iron as a function of carbon dioxide concentration. By cycling the concentration of carbon dioxide in solution, it is possible to produce an iron-rich concentrate that should be suitable for electrolysis. This represents the first viable hydrometallurgical method for leaching iron directly from ore and producing metallic iron.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Michigan Technological University
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
877695
DOE Contract Number:  
FG26-03NT41938
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS; ACETATES; BACTERIA; CARBOHYDRATES; CARBON DIOXIDE; CATHODES; ELECTROLYSIS; FOOD; HYDROGEN IONS; IRON CARBONATES; LEACHING; MAGNETITE; MICROORGANISMS; NITROGEN; NUTRIENTS; ORGANIC MATTER; PHOSPHORUS; POTASSIUM; SACCHAROSE; SODIUM

Citation Formats

T.C. Eisele. Direct Biohydrometallurgical Extraction of Iron from Ore. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/877695.
T.C. Eisele. Direct Biohydrometallurgical Extraction of Iron from Ore. United States. doi:10.2172/877695.
T.C. Eisele. Sat . "Direct Biohydrometallurgical Extraction of Iron from Ore". United States. doi:10.2172/877695. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/877695.
@article{osti_877695,
title = {Direct Biohydrometallurgical Extraction of Iron from Ore},
author = {T.C. Eisele},
abstractNote = {A completely novel approach to iron extraction was investigated, based on reductive leaching of iron by anaerobic bacteria. Microorganisms were collected from an anaerobic bog where natural seepage of dissolved iron was observed. This mixed culture was used to reduce insoluble iron in a magnetite ore to the soluble ferrous (Fe{sup +2}) state. While dissolution rates were slow, concentrations of dissolved iron as high as 3487 mg/l could be reached if sufficient time was allowed. A factorial study of the effects of trace nutrients and different forms of organic matter indicated that the best dissolution rates and highest dissolved iron concentrations were achieved using soluble carbohydrate (sucrose) as the bacterial food source, and that nutrients other than nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and acetate were not necessary. A key factor in reaching high levels of dissolved iron was maintaining a high level of carbon dioxide in solution, since the solubility of iron carbonates increases markedly as the quantity of dissolved carbon dioxide increases. Once the iron is dissolved, it has been demonstrated that the ferrous iron can then be electroplated from solution, provided that the concentration of iron is sufficiently high and the hydrogen ion concentration is sufficiently low. However, if the leaching solution is electrolyzed directly, organic matter precipitates at the cathode along with the metallic iron. To prevent this problem, the ferrous iron should be separated from the bulk solution in a more concentrated, purified form. One route to accomplishing this is to take advantage of the change in solubility of ferrous iron as a function of carbon dioxide concentration. By cycling the concentration of carbon dioxide in solution, it is possible to produce an iron-rich concentrate that should be suitable for electrolysis. This represents the first viable hydrometallurgical method for leaching iron directly from ore and producing metallic iron.},
doi = {10.2172/877695},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2005},
month = {10}
}