Solids concentration

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The pulp density is the solids concentration in a tank. In order to maximize the use of the tank capacity one strives for high pulp density. On the other hand, if microbes are used for the tank process, a too high pulp density may harm the microbes by shear forces that disrupt the cell membranes.


Pulp densities of 20 g/l delayed the onset of bioleaching of pyrite derived from coal. Increasing pulp densities from 30 to 100 g/l decreased rates of pyrite oxidation in Sulfolobus cultures. For fungi such as Aspergillus niger, optimal pulp densities for maximum metal leaching efficiencies were found to be in the range of 30 to 40 g/l. Quartz particles at pulp densities of 80 g/l almost completely inhibited the oxidation of covellite by A. ferrooxidans especially in the absence of iron(II).

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