To obtain a fundamental understanding of the population behaviour of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans at chalcopyrite and pyrite surfaces, the early stage attachment behaviour and biofilm formation by this bacterium on chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and pyrite (FeS2) were studied by optical microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). The results indicate there was no significant difference in selectivity of bacterial attachment between chalcopyrite and pyrite. However, the result of ToF-SIMS analysis suggests that the surface of the pyrite was covered more extensively by biofilm than that of the chalcopyrite, which may indicate more extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) formation by bacterial cells growing on pyrite. EBSD and optical image analysis indicated that selectivity of bacterial attachment to chalcopyrite was not significantly affected by crystal orientation. The results also suggest that the bacterial population in defective areas of chalcopyrite was significantly higher than on the polished surfaces.
- Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans
- sulfide minerals