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Bioresource Technology, Vol.288, 2019
Bioleaching of copper sulfide minerals assisted by microbial fuel cells
A proof-of-concept of copper sulfide mineral bioleaching assisted by microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was demonstrated in current study. Simultaneous copper extraction and electricity generation were obtained in this bio-leaching process, providing a novel approach for copper sulfide mineral bioleaching. Compared with bioleaching of a mixture of chalcopyrite concentrate and porphyry molybdenite, bioleaching of chalcopyrite concentrate achieved higher coulomb production but lower copper extraction concentration. After 320 days bioleaching of chalcopyrite concentrate, the copper ion concentration in bioleaching solution was 244.2 mg/L and the average coulomb production was 4.4 +/- 2.2C/d. The introduction of MFCs into bioleaching processes promoted copper extraction, mainly via the decrease of pH deriving from the anodic sulfide/sulfur oxidation.