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Keywords:

  • reaction kinetics;
  • reactor analysis;
  • mathematical modeling

Abstract

A dynamic analysis of chalcopyrite bioleaching was performed in continuous flow systems. In contrast to a previous batch analysis1 in which the influence of particle surface area on reaction rate was not accounted for, the unsteady-state change in particle surface area was integrated into the dynamic analysis by application of the modified PBM.2 The current study extends the analysis to include the influence of convective flow on the system. It is demonstrated that the analysis can be used to determine feasible control strategies for operating near the steady-state maximum rate that is stable. Two strategies were evaluated for the purpose of increasing the leaching rates, showing that an increased rate of 56% is feasible. Analysis on experimental data showed that increased rates can be achieved by controlling the biomass concentration and ferric:ferrous ion ratio at an optimum by increasing the solids loading [m/v] in the reactor. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 58: 2428–2440, 2012