Effect of carbon sources on biological removal of iron impurities from kaolinite

Eun Young Lee, Kyung Suk Cho, Hee Wook Ryu, Moo Bae

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Fe (III) impurities in clay could be microbially removed by inhabitant dissimilatory Fe (III) reducing microorganisms. Insoluble Fe (III) in clay particles was leached out as soluble reductive form, Fe (II). The microorganisms removed from 10 to 45% of the initial Fe (III) when each sugar was supplemented to be in ranges of 1∼-5% (w/w; sugar/clay). The microorganisms reduced 2.1∼12.8 mol of Fe (III) per 100 mol of carbon in sugars metabolized when sugars such as glucose, maltose, and sucrose were used as sole carbon source. Bacillus sp. IRB-W and Pseudomonas sp. IRB-Y were isolated from the enrichment culture of the clay. The isolates were considered to participate in metabolizing organic compounds to fermentative intermediates with relatively little Fe (III) reduction at initial Fe (III) reduction process. By the microbial treatment, the whiteness of the clay was increased form 63.20 to 79.64, whereas the redness was obviously decreased form 13.47 to 3.55. This treatment did not cause any unfavorable modifications in mineralogical compositions of the clay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-559
Number of pages8
JournalKorean Journal of Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997


  • Clay refinement
  • Ferric iron
  • Ferrous iron
  • Iron-reducing bacteria
  • Microbial iron removal


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