A Fuzzy Logic Model to Predict the Bioleaching Efficiency of Copper Concentrates in Stirred Tank Reactors


Multiplicity of the chemical, biological, electrochemical and operational variables and nonlinear behavior of metal extraction in bioleaching environments complicate the mathematical modeling of these systems. This research was done to predict copper and iron recovery from a copper flotation concentrate in a stirred tank bioreactor using a fuzzy logic model. Experiments were carried out in the presence of a mixed culture of mesophilic bacteria at 35° C, and a mixed culture of moderately thermophilic bacteria at 50° C. Input variables were method of operation (bioleaching or electrobioleaching), the type of bacteria and time (day), while the recoveries of copper and iron were the outputs. A relationship was developed between stated inputs and the outputs by means of “if-then” rules. The resulting fuzzy model showed a satisfactory prediction of the copper and iron extraction and had a good correlation of experimental data with R-squared more than 0.97. The results of this study suggested that fuzzy logic provided a powerful and reliable tool for predicting the nonlinear and time variant bioleaching processes.

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Ahmadi, A. and Hosseini, M. (2015) A Fuzzy Logic Model to Predict the Bioleaching Efficiency of Copper Concentrates in Stirred Tank Reactors. International Journal of Nonferrous Metallurgy, 4, 1-8. doi: 10.4236/ijnm.2015.41001.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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