Arsenopyrite is the most abundant arsenic-bearing sulfide mineral in the lithosphere, usually associated with sulfide gold ores. The recovery of this highly valuable metal is associated with the release of large quantities of soluble arsenic. One way to mitigate the effects of high concentrations of arsenic in solution is to immobilize it as scorodite precipitate, a more stable form. Hence, we addressed the scorodite formation capacity (under mesophilic conditions) of psychrotolerant Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans ACH isolated from the Chilean Altiplano. Bio-oxidation assays were performed with 1% arsenopyrite concentrate as unique energy source and produced solids were evaluated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and QEMSCAN analysis. Interestingly, the results evidenced scorodite generation as the main sub-product after incubation for 15 days, due to the presence of the microorganism. Moreover, the QEMSCAN analysis support the XRD, detecting a 3.5% increase in scorodite generation by ACH strain and a 18.7% decrease in arsenopyrite matrix, implying an active oxidation. Finally, we presented the first record of arsenopyrite oxidation capacity and the stable scorodite production ability by a member of A. ferrivorans species under mesophilic conditions.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Ingeniería geotécnica y geológica