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BIOLEACHING

Bioleaching processes are based on the ability of micro-organism (bacteria and fungi) to transform solid compounds in soluble and extractable elements, which can be recovered. Bioleaching represents a ‘clean technology’ process with low cost and less energy consumption as compared to conventional methods. The bioleaching allows the cycling of metals by a process close to natural biochemical cycles reducing the demand for resources such as ores, energy or landfill space. This process has gained importance in a variety of mineral industries.
The present mineral wealth of the earth is the long-term result of weathering of rocks by physical, chemical, and biological methods especially microbiology processes occurred in the past. Microbes have geologically been active in mineral formation, mineral diagnosis and sedimentation via direct action of their enzymes or indirectly through chemical action of their metabolic products. They act as agent of concentration dispersion or fractionation of mineral matter.
Bioleaching-extraction of metals from insoluble minerals by micro-organisms (bacteria and fungi) is an industrially important process of biotechnology. Structure, composition and exposed surfaces of minerals play an important role in determining the rate of bioleaching process. The bacterial leaching process involves various physical and chemical interactions between the bacteria, minerals and numerous ions and precipitate in the leach liquor. This makes a very complicated system, which is still incompletely understood. In the current study, the reaction mixture is measured during bioleaching of rock phosphate by Penicillium simplicissium fungi.
A new anaerobic denitrification bioleaching technology circumvents these limitations and offers a new anaerobic system that requires no oxygen and generates no acid. This innovative technology represents a low-cost and environmentally acceptable recovery process for intractable ores. The anaerobic denitrification bioleaching technology offers industry the potential to recover metal values at lower costs with minimum engineering and operational problems,while reducing the release of toxic chemical and acid waste streams.
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Categories: BIOTECHNOLOGY
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