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Determining the impacts of fermentative bacteria on wollastonite dissolution kinetics.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology (2012-11-29)
S S Salek, R Kleerebezem, H M Jonkers, J H L Voncken, M C M van Loosdrecht
ABSTRACT

Silicate minerals can be a source of calcium and alkalinity, enabling CO2 sequestration in the form of carbonates. For this to occur, the mineral needs to be first dissolved in an acidifying process such as the biological process of anaerobic fermentation. In the present study, the main factors which govern the dissolution process of an alkaline silicate mineral (wollastonite, CaSiO3) in an anaerobic fermentation process were determined. Wollastonite dissolution kinetics was measured in a series of chemical batch experiments in order to be able to estimate the required amount of alkaline silicate that can neutralize the acidifying fermentation process. An anaerobic fermentation of glucose with wollastonite as the neutralizing agent was consequently performed in a fed-batch reactor. Results of this experiment were compared with an abiotic (control) fed-batch reactor in which the fermentation products (i.e. organic acids and alcohols) were externally supplied to the system at comparable rates and proportions, in order to provide chemical conditions similar to those during the biotic (fermentation) experiment. This procedure enabled us to determine whether dissolution of wollastonite was solely enhanced by production of organic acids or whether there were other impacts that fermentative bacteria could have on the mineral dissolution rate. The established pH profiles, which were the direct indicator of the dissolution rate, were comparable in both experiments suggesting that the mineral dissolution rate was mostly influenced by the quantity of the organic acids produced.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Calcium silicate, −200 mesh, 99%
Sigma-Aldrich
Calcium silicate, purum, 12-22% Ca (as CaO) basis, ≥87% SiO2 basis