Application of iron-oxidizing bacteria to hydrometallurgical flue dust treatment and H2S desulfurization

T. Shiratori, H. Sonta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Flue dust produced from the Kosaka copper flashsmelting furnace contains metals such as Cu, Pb, Zn, Fc, As, Cd, etc. To recover these metals, the dust is treated in the hydrometallurgical plant. Previous iron oxidation by air blown at pH 5 and at 50°C for removal of iron from the leached solution has been superceded by bacterial iron oxidation and pecipitation processes. The advantages of this bacterial oxidation procedure are (i) low cost; (ii) clear separation of metals; (iii) improvement in settling and dewatering characteristics and smaller, stable of volume precipitate and (iv) possibilities of fixing arsenate to obtain inexpensive ferric ions. A new hydrogen sulfide gas treatment process has been developed to treat the gas from plants producing barium chemicals. Itydrogen sulfide (70% content) is absorbed on ferric iron solution, and is thus oxidized to elemental sulfur. After the sulfur has been separated, the iron- oxidizing bacteria are employed to regenerate the absorbing solution. In this plant, which produces 150 tons sulfur per month, the hydrogen sulfide content of sweet gas is kept under 10 ppm; equivalent to 99.99%,; of the hydrogen sulfide recovery. The advantages of this process are (i) high H 2S gas removal efficiency; (ii) low running cost; (iii) ease of operation and maintenance: (iv) no waste; (v) high H2S selectivity; and (vi) good flexibility overload fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-174
Number of pages10
JournalFEMS Microbiology Reviews
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1993 Jul


  • Ferrous iron oxidation
  • Hydrometallurgical process
  • Thiobacillus ferrooxidans
  • Waste gas treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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