Bacterial Oxidation in Upgrading Pyritic Coals

CIM Bulletin, 1973

C. E. CAPES. A. E. MclLHINNEY, A. F. SIRIANNI and I. E. PUDDINGTON, Division of Chemistry, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ont

Two main problems are associated with the removal of pyritic sulphur from coals. The first is due to the fine state of dissemination of pyrite, which requires grindin1 to a very fine size to accomplish liberation. The second problem is caused by the similar surface chemical characteristics of coal and pyrite, which complicates separatio11 methods based on this property. In the work described here, the problem of fine particle size was overcome by using the selective oil agglomeratioa method developed at the National Research Council of Canada. Recovery of more than 90% of the combustible values was possible, even with particles only a few microns in diameter. Experiments using conventional chemical depressants for pyrite met with little success. It was found, however, that pyrite may be rejected during coal agglomeration through treatment with the iron.oxidizing bacteria, thiobacillus-f errooxidans. The conditions for maximum pyrite separation are described and possible mechanisms by which the bacteria act are discussed
Keywords: Agglomeration, Bacteria, bacteria, Coal Technol., National Research Council of Canada, pyrite, Sulphur Rejection, Chemicals, Coal, experiment, Experiments, pH, pyrite, sulphur