Elemental sulfur

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Elemental sulfur may cause passivation

One theory claims that elemental sulfur may cause passivation: Elemental sulfur produced during bioleaching forms a thick blanket that excludes bacteria and chemical oxidants from the surface of hypogenic copper sulfide minerals. The detection of large amounts of sulfur in bioleached chalcopyrite supports this theory. In addition, many electron micrographs have shown a thick sulfur coating on leached chalcopyrite. This theory, however, does not adequately explain why other metal sulfides that also form sulfur when leached do not leach as slowly as chalcopyrite.

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References

  1. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20070125199.html?highlight=bioleach&stemming=on
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