Influence de l'activité bactérienne ferro-oxydante et ferriréductrice sur les propriétés minéralogiques et micromécaniques du minerai de fer dans le contexte des mines abandonnées de Lorraine

Abstract : Mine collapses occurred in Lorraine (France) because of the failure of safety pillars made of iron ore. Their failure is not only due to the mechanic stresses applied by the overburden, but also due to the various mineralogical transformations in iron ore which decrease material cohesion and resistance and thus stability of pillars. This is called mineralogical alteration/ageing of iron ore. Chemical mechanisms inducing these mineralogical transformations are now well known but the influence of microbial activity is not well understood yet. Preliminary works have raised the possible role of microbial activity, then the focus of this work was to identify the various bacterial metabolisms capable of reacting with iron ore and to characterize the physico-chemical, mineralogical and mechanical effects. The bacterial metabolism groups possibly implied in these reactions (iron-reducing (IRB), iron-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB)) were identified from the mine water. As pure strain or as consortium, these bacteria were incubated with iron ore. Under laboratory conditions, only iron-reducing, sulfate-reducing and acidophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria impacted iron ore samples by modifying the Fe(II)/Fe(III) ratio. A ferrous-carbonate phase and pyrite were formed during incubations with IRB and SRB, respectively. These minerals were characterized from analysis of the solid phase (Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (DRIFTS), Mössbauer spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction). The impact nitrate-reducing bacteria was also tested but the Fe(II)/Fe(III) ratio of iron ore was not modified significantly. Finally, mechanical properties of iron ore were measured after microbial and purely chemical redox reactions. Discernible modifications of these mechanical properties were observed. From these results, the alteration of iron ore mechanical properties by bacterial activities is a realistic assumption.
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Baptiste Maitte. Influence de l'activité bactérienne ferro-oxydante et ferriréductrice sur les propriétés minéralogiques et micromécaniques du minerai de fer dans le contexte des mines abandonnées de Lorraine. Sciences de la Terre. Université de Lorraine, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015LORR0256⟩. ⟨tel-01754540⟩

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