Selective recovery of nickel over iron from a nickel-iron solution using microbial sulfate reduction in a gas-lift bioreactor

M.F.M. Bijmans, P.J. van Helvoort, S. Dar, M. Dopson, P.N.L. Lens, C.J.N. Buisman

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35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Process streams with high concentrations of metals and sulfate are characteristic for the mining and metallurgical industries. This study aims to selectively recover nickel from a nickel-iron-containing solution at pH 5.0 using a single stage bioreactor that simultaneously combines low pH sulfate reduction and metal-sulfide formation. The results show that nickel was selectively precipitated in the bioreactor at pH 5.0 and the precipitates consisted of >or=83% of the nickel content. The nickel-iron precipitates were partly crystalline and had a metal/sulfur ratio of 1, suggesting these precipitates were NiS and FeS. Experiments focusing on nickel recovery at pH 5.0 and 5.5 reached a recovery of >99.9%, resulting in a nickel effluent concentration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-861
JournalWater Research
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • mining
  • metallurgy
  • mine tailings
  • sludges
  • hydrogen
  • iron
  • nickel
  • bioreactors
  • electrophoresis
  • sulfate reduction
  • sludge treatment
  • removal
  • gradient gel-electrophoresis
  • sulfide precipitation
  • metal precipitation
  • heavy-metals
  • soils
  • water
  • ores

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