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Rate Equations and Kinetic Parameters of the Reactions Involved in Pyrite Oxidation by Thiobacillus ferrooxidans

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PMC
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  • Physiology And Biotechnology

Abstract

Rate equations and kinetic parameters were obtained for various reactions involved in the bacterial oxidation of pyrite. The rate constants were 3.5 μM Fe2+ per min per FeS2 percent pulp density for the spontaneous pyrite dissolution, 10 μM Fe2+ per min per mM Fe3+ for the indirect leaching with Fe3+, 90 μM O2 per min per mg of wet cells per ml for the Thiobacillus ferrooxidans oxidation of washed pyrite, and 250 μM O2 per min per mg of wet cells per ml for the T. ferrooxidans oxidation of unwashed pyrite. The Km values for pyrite concentration were similar and were 1.9, 2.5, and 2.75% pulp density for indirect leaching, washed pyrite oxidation by T. ferrooxidans, and unwashed pyrite oxidation by T. ferrooxidans, respectively. The last reaction was competitively inhibited by increasing concentrations of cells, with a Ki value of 0.13 mg of wet cells per ml. T. ferrooxidans cells also increased the rate of Fe2+ production from Fe3+ plus pyrite.

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