A Two-Stage Technology for Bacterial and Chemical Leaching of Copper-Zinc Raw Materials by Fe3+ Ions with Their Subsequent Regeneration by Chemolithotrophic Bacteria

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A two-stage technology for bacterial and chemical leaching of nonferrous metals in a specifically designed laboratory unit has been proposed. At the first stage of leaching, ferric iron formed during the second stage of oxidation of Fe2+ ions by mesophilic chemolithotrophic microorganisms was used. The optimal parameters of the first stage of the process (flow rate, temperature, and the process duration) were 2 l/h, 75°C, and 24 h, respectively. The results of testing of the two-stage technology for leaching copper-zinc raw materials indicated that the depth of zinc and copper leaching can be increased from 70 to 93% and from 40 to 58.8%, respectively, and the process duration can be reduced from 120 to 24 h as compared to the commonly used one-stage technology.

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