Bioleaching of Primary Nickel Ore Using Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans LR Cells Immobilized in Glass Beads

Ellen Cristine Giese, Patrícia Morgado Vaz


Sulphide minerals are one of the most important sources of value metals. For several years, a large number of hydrometallurgical and biotechnological processes have been developed to leach low-grade sulphide ores and the conditions are well established. However, the management of microorganisms in the bioleaching process is not easy to handle. In this paper, the use of immobilized cells of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans LR in glass beads in bioleaching of primary nickel ore was evaluated. The column experiments inoculated with immobilized cells of A. ferrooxidans LR showed the same efficiency than the conventional method using free cells and is promising for application on a larger scale as it ensuring integrity and activity of biomining microorganisms and reduce process costs.





Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans LR; cell immobilization; primary nickel ore; bioleaching

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