Bio-electrochemical sulfate reduction and sulfur recovery without external carbon source (2012–2014)
The efficient management of acidic sulfate streams such as Acid and Metalliferous Drainage is becoming increasingly important in the environment and many Australian mining operations. The main challenges are the lack of suitable substrates to reduce sulfate to sulfide and hence precipitate the dissolved metals from these streams. This project will utilise photosynthetic anodes to generate the necessary electrons to cathodically reduce sulfate to sulfur or sulfide. Selective metal sulfide precipitation and production of elemental sulfur will allow then to separate these pollutants from the liquid stream and recover beneficially. The reduced salinity and acidity of the water will create valuable water recovery/recycling opportunities.