Nitrogen is an element required by all organisms as it is an essential component in for instance DNA, RNA and amino acids. Microorganisms play a major part in the Nitrogen cycle, through the processes of Nitrogen fixation, Nitrogen mineralization, Nitrogen nitrification and Nitrogen denitrification.
Nitrogen limitation in bioleaching
Nitrogen limitations seem to have a clear negative effect on both bacterial growth and bioleaching efficiency. The optimization of the nutrient medium and especially of the nitrogen source is of critical importance for the process efficiency. The role of the nitrogen source is not only important for the bacterial growth but also for the chemical effect, especially on the iron precipitation phenomena, that can play a role in cell attachment to the pyrite surface.