Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol.44, No.6, 667-673, 1994
Kinetics of Growth and Elemental Sulfur Oxidation in Batch Culture of Thiobacillus-Ferrooxidans
The kinetics of oxidation of elemental sulfur by Thiobaccillus ferrooxidans in a batch reactor was followed by measuring the concentration of adsorbed cells on the sulfur surface, the concentration of free cells in liquid medium, and the amount of sulfur oxidized. As the elemental sulfur was oxidized to sulfate, the liquid-phase concentration of free cells continued to increase with time, whereas the surface concentration of adsorbed cells per unit weight of sulfur approached a limiting value, i.e., the maximum adsorption capacity. During sulfur oxidation, there was a close correlation between the concentrations of adsorbed and free cells, and these data were well correlated with the Langmuir isotherm. The observed rates of batch growth and sulfur oxidation were consistent with a kinetic model, assuming that the growth rate of adsorbed bacteria is proportional to the product of the concentration of adsorbed cells and the fraction of adsorption sites unoccupied by cells. The kinetic and stoichiometric parameters appearing in the model were evaluated using the experimental data and were compared with parameters determined previously for a few metal sulfides.