Biomedicine and Biotechnology. 2014, 2(2), 29-36DOI:
Abstract: This paper presents lead bioextraction using mixed cultures of Acidithiobacillus Ferrooxidans (ATF) and Acidithiobacillus Thiooxidans (ATT) on galena. The effect of leaching time at constant leaching temperature and ore mass-input were investigated. X-ray diffractometry (XRD) analysis of the galena used was carried out to evaluate the phases in the ore. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was carried out on reaction residues generated at different leaching times. The XRD analysis of the ore shows that it was composed of phases such as PbS, ZnS, ZnO and Cu64O with PbS dominating. The results of the experiment indicate that the concentrations of extracted lead increases with increase in the leaching time which ranged from 70 - 420 hrs. SEM of reaction residues show in some cases slight slimy substances suspected to be secretion from the microbes. A multivariate empirical model was derived, validated and used for the factorial analysis of extracted lead. The validity of the derived model expressed as; ξ - 0.258 = 0.0162 ɤ + 0.0002ϑ - 0.001₰ was rooted on the core model expression ξ - 0.258 = 0.0162 ɤ + 0.0002ϑ - 0.001₰ where both sides of the expression are correspondingly approximately equal. Regression model was used to generate results, and its trend of distribution was compared with that from experiment and derived model as means of verifying its validity. The results associating this verification translated into very close alignment of curves and significantly similar trend of data point’s distribution for experimental (ExD), derived model (MoD) and regression model-predicted (ReG) results. Evaluations from generated results indicated that extracted lead concentration per unit leaching time and final solution pH as obtained from experiment, derived model & regression model were 0.0171, 0.0162 & 0.0190 g/dm3 hr-1 and 6.386, 6.0467 & 7.1083 respectively. The standard errors in predicting the extracted lead concentrations for each values of the leaching times and final solution pHs as obtained from experiments, derived model & regression model-predicted results were 0.3666, 0.0003 & 6.901 x 10-5 and 1.7626, 1.3135 & 1.5437 respectively. The model operates with a confidence and reliability level range: 91-99.86 % at recorded deviation range: 0.14 - 8.51 (of the model-predicted extracted lead concentration from experimental results).