A bacterium, Thiobacillus ferrooxidans, is of prime importance in the formation of acid drainage from pyritic material. Above ph 4.5, T. Ferrooxidans increases initial acidification; below ph 4.5, It allows acidification to continue by oxidizing Fe2+. Below a ph of approximately 2.5, The activity of Fe3+ is significant and results in steady-state cycling between oxidation of pyrite by Fe3+ and bacterial oxidation of Fe2+. Laboratory and field tests demonstrate that inhibition of T. Ferrooxidans by controlled release of anionic detergents can inexpensively reduce pyrite oxidation and acid formation.
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