On the fundamentals aspects of hematite bioflotation using a Gram positive strain

Carlos A.Castañeda Olivera, Antonio Gutiérrez Merma, Jhonatan G.Soto Puelles, Maurício Leonardo Torem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The use of microorganisms and/or their metabolic products is becoming an attractive alternative in mineral processing. In that sense, this research deals with the use of the hydrophobic gram positive Rhodococcus erythropolis bacteria as a possible substitute of synthetic reagents used in hematite flotation. Bacterial growth experiments, using culture media of tryptic soy broth (TSB) and yeast and malt extract with glucose (YMG) separately, showed a greater bacterial density for the first one. In addition, it was observed that the isoelectric point (IEP) of hematite was shifted after biomass interaction, suggesting that the bacterial cells were adhered onto the mineral surface. Moreover, bacterial adhesion was higher at acidic pH, which also suggests an electrostatic attraction between the mineral surface and the biomass at this pH range. Microflotation tests were carried out in a modified Hallimond tube achieving a maximum hematite floatability of 83.86% at pH 6. Finally, the kinetics of the process followed a second order model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalMinerals Engineering
StatePublished - 15 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


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