Title: Bioleaching of Nickel From Olivine Using Chemoheterotrophic Fungi and Bacteria
Authors: Chiang, Yi Wai
Santos, Rafael
Van Audenaerde, Aldo
Monballiu, Annick
Van Gerven, Tom
Martens, Johan
Meesschaert, Boudewijn
Issue Date: 22-Jun-2014
Host Document: Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Hydrometallurgy 2014 vol:2 pages:769-778
Conference: Hydro2014 location:Victoria, Canada date:22-25 June 2014
Abstract: In this work, bioleaching of non-sulphidic materials by applying chemoheterotrophic bacteria and fungi is studied. It was found that the tested fungus, Aspergillus niger, leached substantially more nickel from olivine than the tested bacterium, Bacillus mucilaginosus. A. niger also outperformed fungal species Humicola grisae and Penicillium chrysogenum in the leaching of olivine. Contrary to traditional acid leaching, the microorganisms leached nickel preferentially over magnesium and iron. On average, a selectivity factor of 2.2 was achieved for nickel compared to iron. This can potentially facilitate post-processing of the leach liquor and reduce the cost. The impact of ultrasonic conditioning on bioleaching was also tested, and substantial increase in nickel extraction with A. niger was observed. This was credited to an increase in the fungal growth rate, the promotion of particle degradation, and the detachment of the stagnant biofilm around the particles. Furthermore, ultrasonic conditioning enhanced the selectivity of A. niger for nickel, resulting in a selectivity ratio for Ni/Fe equal to 3.5. The chemical resistance of the selected microorganisms to several heavy metal and metalloid (As(III,V), Cd, Cr(III,V), Ni, Pb, Zn) was evaluated. It was found that, with the exception of As(v) and Cd, A. niger has high tolerance to these components. Therefore, this biohydrometallurgical route can potentially be applied to non-sulphidic waste-derived materials, such as industrial slags, ashes and sludges.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IC
Appears in Collections:Process Engineering for Sustainable Systems Section
Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis
Bioengineering Technology TC, Technology Campus Ostend
Technologiecluster Bioengineering Technologie

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