Bioleaching of iron from highly contaminated Kaolin clay by Aspergillus niger

M. R. Hosseini, M. Pazouki, M. Ranjbar, M. Habibian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Kaolin is a clay mineral that has a wide application in the industry specially, in paper, ceramic, and porcelain manufacturing. One of the most important factors that affects the value of this raw material is its brightness. Unfortunately, with the iron oxides deposit on mineral particles during kaolin formation, much of this clay has become unusable for industries. So, several chemical methods have been applied in mineral processing plants to reduce these contaminants, but finding a more sustainable approach like biological methods have always attracted a great attention. In this work bioleaching of iron from a highly contaminated kaolin sample was carried out using two different strains of Aspergillus niger, and the effects of strain type, pulp density, and time of clay addition on the iron removal were investigated by employing a 23 full factorial design. Finally, it is concluded that strain type has the most significant effect on the response; also, the highest removal extent was 42.8% that was obtained by using the strain isolated from pistachio shell, and at the pulp density of 20 g/l when the clay was added at the beginning of the experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Clay Science
Issue number3-4
Early online date2 Feb 2007
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2007, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


This research work is financially supported by grants from the Iranian National Science Foundation (INSF), under contract number 84.5374.


  • Aspergillus niger
  • Bioleaching
  • Iron removal
  • Kaolin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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