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Fundamental aspects of hematite fines

electroflotation using the bacterial strain R.


opacus as bioreagent
Ronald Rojas Hacha, Mauricio Leonardo Torem, Vanessa Figueiredo da Silva Coelho and Antonio
Gutierrez Merma.
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.

E-mail: anguz21@hotmail.com
INTRODUCTION
BIO-ELECTROFLOTATION

Electrochemistry
pH
Current density
Electrode material

Electroflotation Bacterial corrosion

Redox
reactions
Bio-
Eletroflotation
Surface
Biology
chemistry
Bioflotation Bioreagents

Figure 1 Interconnected areas in the separation bioprocess.


Electrogenerated gas bubbles

Decomposition of water into oxygen and hydrogen gas bubbles due to an electric
current being passed through the water.
The reaction at the anode (+) is:
2H 2 O 4H O2( g ) 4e (1)

The reaction at the cathode (-) is:


2 H 2O 2e 2OH H 2 ( g ) (2)

Therefore the net balance is:


H 2O H 2 ( g ) 0,5O2 ( g ) (3)

Figure 2 Schematic of an electrochemical cell.


Effect of process variables on bubble size

Figure 3 Parameters Affecting Bubble Size


Advantages and disadvantages

Production of microbubbles;
Absence of coalescence of bubbles;
Production of bubbles of desired size and flux;
Higher chance of bubble particle collision;
Activeness;

Control of system pH.


Use of microorganisms in industrial process
Leaching and oxidation, remediation, removal of heavy metals (Sorption) and flotation.

Bioflotation Microorganisms characteristics


A B

C D

Figure 4 Micrographs (A, B) and schematic outline of the cell wall structures(C, D). Gram-positive (A, C); Gram-
negative (B, D). (Mesnage, et al 1998; Beveridge, 1999). 1) Plasma membrane; 2) peptidoglycan; 3) proteins; 4)
fibrils; 5) periplasmic space; 6) outer membrane.
Use of microorganisms in industrial process
Lixiviation and oxidation, remediation, removal of heavy metals (Sorption) and flotation.

Bioflotation Microorganisms characteristics


Table 1 Major binding groups being in cell envelope (Volesky, 2007).
Binding group Structural formula Ligand atom Occurrence

Hydroxyl -OH O PS, AU, AA

Carbonyl (ketone) >C=O O Peptide bond

Carboxyl -COOH O AU, AA

Sulfhydryl (thiol) -SH S AA

Sulfonate -S=(O)3 O SPS

Thioether >S S AA

Amine -NH2 N QT, AA

Secondary amine >NH N PG, peptide bond

Amide -C=O-NH2 N AA

Imine =NH N AA

Imidazole C3H4N2 N AA

Phosphonate -P=O-(OH)2 O FL

Phosphodiester >P=O-OH O AT, LPS


MATERIALS AND METHODS
Experimetal electroflotation

10

12
1 2 3

6 7
11

4 5
8

Figure 5 Experimental setup of Electroflotation.


1: automatic pH controller ; 2 and 3: Partridge-Smith Cells; 4: cathode; 5:anode; 6 and 7: pH regulation solutions; 8:
magnetic stirrer; 9: pHmeter; 10: peristaltic pump; 11: power supply; 12: multimeter.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Experimetal electroflotation

H2 O2

Figure 6 Partridge-Smith binary cell.


RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

Measurements of oxygen and hydrogen bubble size Effect of pH

80 80

A Current density B Current density


2
2
5.28 mA/cm 5.28 mA/cm
75 75
2
2
6.69 mA/cm 6.69 mA/cm
2 2
8.31 mA/cm 8.31 mA/cm
70 70

d32(m)
d32(m)

65 65

60 60

55 55

50 50
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
pH pH

Figure 7 Effect of pH in bubble size. A) Hydrogen bubbles; B) Oxygen bubbles . Sodium sulfate concentration: 0.05 M.
Zeta potential
25
20 R. opacus
Hematite
15
Hematite + R. opacus
10
5
0
Zeta potential (mV)

-5
IEP
-10
IEP IEP
-15
-20
-25
-30
-35
-40
-45
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
pH

Figure 8 Zeta potentials of hematite before and after interaction with Rhodococcus opacus.
Hematite electroflotation

70 70
65 A Concentration of bioreagent 65 B Concentration of bioreagent
60 100 mg/L 60 100 mg/L
55 200 mg/L 200 mg/L
55
300 mg/L 300 mg/L
50 50
45 45
Floatability (%)

Floatability (%)
40 40
35 35
30 30
25 25
20 20
15 15
10 10
5 5
0 0
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
pH pH

Figure 9 Hematite electroflotation. A) Hydrogen bubbles, B) Oxygen bubbles; as a function of R. opacus


concentration and pH. Particle size: (-38+20 m); flotation time: 5 min.
CONCLUSIONS

The zeta potential evaluation of the mineral particles before and after the R.
opacus interaction showed that the bioreagent modified the zeta potential
profiles of hematite.

The electroflotation of hematite particles using R. opacus as bioreagent was


also found to be dependent on the pH value and the bacterial concentration.

The higher floatability of both minerals was found at a pH value of around 6,


achieving a value of around 65% and 55% for hydrogen and oxygen bubbles
respectively, using 200 mg/L and 300 mg/L of the bioreagent for hydrogen and
oxygen respectively. Hydrogen and oxygen bubbles flotation has the potential
to provide selective separation of fine minerals. This largely is the result of the
collision efficiency between the fine particles and the bubbles.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS