Solid-liquid mass transfer limitation of ferrous iron in the chemical oxidation of FeS2 at high redox potential

M. Boon*, Joseph J. Heijnen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The chemical oxidation rate of pyrite with ferric iron increases with increasing ferric-to-ferrous iron concentration ratios in the bulk-phase of the solution. In batch experiments, these high ratios were due to the presence of Leptospirillum ferrooxidans bacteria. It was proposed that the observed maximum chemical pyrite oxidation rate (mole pyrite oxidised/mole pyrite s), is determined by the mass transfer rate of chemically produced ferrous iron from the pyrite surface to the bulk-phase. The overall kinetics of chemical pyrite oxidation at pseudo-steady-states in these batch experiments are appropriately described by rate equations for the three independent sub-processes involved: (i) a linear equation that describes the chemical pyrite oxidation kinetics at the pyrite surface (i.e. production rate of ferrous iron) in terms of the ferric iron concentration in the bulk-phase, and the surface concentration of ferrous iron, (ii) mass transfer of ferrous iron from the pyrite surface to the bulk of the sol ution, where the solid-liquid mass transfer coefficient of ferrous iron, kL(m/s), was estimated using a Sherwood correlation, and (iii) bacterial oxidation of ferrous iron by L. ferrooxidans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-66
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacterial oxidation
  • Chemical oxidation
  • Kinetics
  • Leptospirillum ferrooxidans
  • Mass transfer limitation
  • Pyrite

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