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Electronic Journal of Biotechnology ISSN: 0717-3458  
© 2013 by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso -- Chile  

Modeling the kinetics of pyrite ash biodesulfurization by Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Acetobacter aceti in liquid state bioreactors

Yakup Ermurat


Background: Modeling the kinetics of the biodesulphurization bioprocess for the refining of pyrite ash by Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Acetobacter aceti have been studied in batch-type liquid- state bioreactors.

Results: The biodesulphurization experiments were performed at varying temperatures of 25ºC, 30ºC and 35ºC for eight weeks. Glucose, acetic acid and ethyl alcohol were used in the incubation media as substrates and acid sources. pH and oxidation reduction potential (ORP) observations have been determined weekly and the dissolved sulphur was measured at the end of the eight weeks trials. An equation calculating pH was derived from the iron oxidation reaction containing the ferric to ferrous iron [Fe+3/Fe+2] ratio as a variable. The Michaelis-Menten predictive specific growth rates (qFe+2), which were estimated from pH and ORP observations, were compared by plotting [qFe+2]pH vs. [qFe+2]mV. The highest ratio of dissolved sulphur over total sulphur (Sd/St) was found to be 0.5 in the bio desulphurization processes.

Conclusions: The model provides predictions of ferric to ferrous iron rates and specific growth rates [qFe+2]pH vs. [qFe+2]mV and can be used for the determination of oxidized and reduced ions. The ratios of dissolved sulphur to total sulphur (Sd/St) have shown some promising results for S. cerevisiae to be used as a biodesulphurization and refining microorganism for pyrite ash and the other sulphide minerals.