The surface properties of arsenopyrite during chemical and biological oxidation were investigated by synchrotron X-ray diffraction (S-XRD), X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) and scanning electron microscope (SEM), accompanying with leaching behaviors elucidation. The moderate thermophile S. thermosulfidooxdians was used as the bioleaching microorganism. Leaching experiments showed that only 16.26% and 44.37% of total arsenic extractions were obtained for sterile acid and culture medium controls, whereas 79.20% of total arsenic was recovered at the end of bioleaching. SEM indicated that new products were layered on the surface of arsenopyrite after chemical and biological oxidation. As displayed in S-XRD patterns, scorodite and elemental sulfur were formed after acid leaching, while only elemental sulfur was detected in the residue leached by acid culture medium. During bioleaching, elemental sulfur was produced from day 4 and jarosite was produced from day 9. The results of iron and arsenic L-edge XANES were in good consistence with S-XRD. The accumulation of scorodite and jarosite on arsenopyrite surface should be the main reason for the hindered dissolution of arsenopyrite during acid leaching and bioleaching. These studies are pretty meaningful for better understanding the oxidation mechanism of arsenopyrite and evaluating arsenic risk to the environment.
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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