Name: Michael A.
what is the role of the bacteria Thiobacillus Ferroxidans
in acid mine drainage?
You will find more on this bacterium in the species
files of the Virtual Museum of Bacteria,
or check out the exhibit on 'applied bacteriology (in
the subject category 'what are bacteria' ) about the
role of these bacteria in mining.
Dr. T. Wassenaar
curator of the Virtual museum of Bacteria'
The short explanation, that it is "responsible for the oxidation of iron and
inorganic sulfur compounds in areas such a mine tailings and coal deposits",
as can be found on this web page from the Colorado School of Mines:
However, another report describes a recent study which concluded that
"Thiobacillus ferroxidans, previously thought to be the most important
iron-oxidizing species, played only a minor role":
So it definitely plays a role in the oxidation of iron from acid mine
drainage, but there is apparently some question as to the size of that role.
Jeff Buzby, Ph.D.
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Update: June 2012