Microbial Leaching (Bioleaching, Biomining). Microbial leaching is the process by which metals are dissolved from ore bearing rocks using microorganisms. Biomining is a technique of extracting metals from ores and other solid materials typically using . Additional capabilities include the bioleaching of metals from sulfide materials, phosphate ore bioprocessing, and the bioconcentration of metals. Bioleaching is the extraction of metals from their ores through the use of living organisms. This is much cleaner than the traditional heap leaching using cyanide .

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Use the lead layout guide to ensure the section follows Wikipedia’s norms and to be inclusive of all essential details. Biomining is an environmentally friendly technique compared to typical mining. This is shown in this figure.

This form of leaching does not rely on microbial oxidation of metal but rather uses microbial metabolism as source of acids that directly dissolve the metal. In this case, the lower cost of bacterial leaching outweighs the time it takes to extract the metal. The process for copper is bioleachint similar, but the efficiency and kinetics depend on the copper mineralogy.

Most current biomining operations use naturally occurring microbial communities. This is much cleaner than the traditional heap leaching using cyanide.

Projects like Finnish Talvivaara proved to be environmentally and economically disastrous. These organisms secrete different organic compounds that chelate metals from the environment and bring it back to the cell where they are typically used to coordinate electrons.

Several species of fungi can be used for bioleaching. These microorganisms actually gain energy by breaking down minerals into their constituent elements. Composition EcoMetals – Innovative eco-efficient biohydrometallurgy process for the recovery of strategic and rare metals: Microbes are especially good at oxidizing sulfidic minerals, converting metals like iron and copper into forms that can dissolve more easily. Electrochemical applications in metal bioleaching. Geobiotechnology I – Metal-related Issues, A.


BGR Via targeted research and further development of bioleaching valuable substances such as economically critical metals could be recovered from mine waste dumps mine tailingscomplex ores, non-sulfidic ores such as laterites and manganese nodules, as well as industrial residues such as ashes, sludges, slags and even electronic waste.


Views Read Edit View history. Related Frequently Asked Questions. Views Read Edit View history. Some past projects include in situ mining, biodegradation, bioremediation, and bioleaching of ores.

What is biomining?

What role does recycling play in our metal supply? By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Treating the mixture with sodium cyanide in the presence of free oxygen dissolves the gold. Other metals, like gold, are not directly dissolved by this microbial process, but are made more accessible to traditional mining techniques because the minerals surrounding these metals are dissolved and removed by microbial processes.

The ore minerals of the metals copper, nickel, cobalt, and zinc occur in nature mainly as metal sulfides.

Heap or dump bioleaching, tank bioleaching, in situ or in place bioleaching. This oxidation relies on a combination of chemically and microbiologically catalyzed processes. For this, processes already exist in laboratory scale and further work is carried out in the geomicrobiology laboratory of BGR, mainly within the frame of third-party funded projects. The critical reaction is the oxidation of bioleacihng by ferric iron.

Biotechnology Economic geology Metallurgical processes Applied microbiology. Recent Advances in Acidophile Microbiology: Bioleaching can involve numerous ferrous iron and sulfur oxidizing bacteria, including Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans biomiming known as Thiobacillus ferrooxidans and Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans formerly known as Thiobacillus thiooxidans.


In the microbial leaching process A. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. An electric current is passed through the resulting solution of copper ions.

BGR – Metal Bioleaching (Biomining)

Microbes will oxidize sulfur. In industrial bioleaching biomining three technical processes are differentiated: The lead section of this article may need to be rewritten. Furthermore biomining is applied for the recovery of gold, cobalt, nickel, zinc and uranium. These systems can be used for bioremediation, biohydrometallurgy, or even extracting metals from ores for commercial use.

Additional capabilities include the bioleaching of metals from sulfide ores, phosphate ores, and concentrating of metals from solution. The main role of the bacterial step is the biomkning of this reactant. Barrie; Kanao, Tadayoshi; Hedrich, Sabrina The potential applications of biomining are countless.

Bioleaching – Wikipedia

Other uses of biomining New biomining techniques that do not involve oxidation are being tested, which would enable large-scale biomining for different types of minerals and metals. Biomining is the use of microorganisms to leach metals from their growth medium. BGR For biomining specialized microorganisms are used in order to recover valuable metals from ores via bioleaching. Fungi can be grown on many different substrates, such as electronic scrapcatalytic convertersand fly ash from municipal waste incineration.

These metal extractions can be performed in situ or ex situ where in situ is preferred since it is less expensive to excavate the substrate. The ligand-copper complex is extracted from the solution using an organic solvent such as kerosene:.