Bioprocessing of Mine and Metallurgical Wastes

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (16 July 2021) | Viewed by 10523

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology, Federal Research Centre “Fundamentals of Biotechnology” of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 119071 Moscow, Russia
Interests: bioleaching; biooxidation; hydrometallurgy; chemolithotrophic acidophiles; waste biotreatment
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The mining and metallurgical treatment of ores are characterized by the formation of their various wastes. For instance, the beneficiation of ores yields formation tailings, whereas the roasting of sulfide concentrates produces smelter slag and dust. These wastes pose a problem not just because of their sheer volume and areal extent, but some of them affect local ecosystems. The activity of microorganisms in the waste can lead to significant environmental problems. The oxidation and dissolution of sulfide minerals containing iron and non-ferrous sulfides has been shown to contribute to the formation of acidic groundwater containing ferrous sulfate, heavy metals, and other toxic elements. The bio-oxidation of sulfide ores and high-grade concentrates for the recovery of gold, copper, nickel, cobalt, and other metals has a global spread. Biotechnology is the most promising approach for processing mine and metallurgical waste. This Special Issue will focus on new methods and processes for the utilization, recycling, or disposal of many types of mine and metallurgical wastes using (micro)organisms (bacteria, archaea, fungi, and their communities). This includes but is not limited to topics such as the bioleaching of metals, the bio-oxidation of sulfide wastes, dust and slag treatment, low-grade ores as a source for biohydrometallurgy, and acid mine drainage bioprocessing.

Dr. Maxim Muravyov
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • biohydrometallurgy
  • bioleaching and bio-oxidation of waste
  • (micro)organisms for waste biotreatment
  • waste biomodification
  • acid mine drainage biotreatment
  • old waste biotreatment
  • environmental impact of waste bioprocessing

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 2889 KiB  
Article
Cadmium Uptake and Growth Responses of Potted Vegetables to the Cd-Contaminated Soil Inoculated with Cd-Tolerant Purpureocillium lilacinum N1
by Yan Deng, Haonan Huang, Shaodong Fu, Luhua Jiang, Yili Liang, Xueduan Liu, Huidan Jiang and Hongwei Liu
Minerals 2021, 11(6), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11060622 - 11 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2197
Abstract
Bioremediation of Cd- (cadmium) contaminated soil using Cd-tolerant fungus is considered an eco-friendly and cost-effective technique. In this study, we isolated one fungal strain that was hyper-tolerant to Cd from a highly polluted river and conducted pot experiments to evaluate its effects on [...] Read more.
Bioremediation of Cd- (cadmium) contaminated soil using Cd-tolerant fungus is considered an eco-friendly and cost-effective technique. In this study, we isolated one fungal strain that was hyper-tolerant to Cd from a highly polluted river and conducted pot experiments to evaluate its effects on bioremediation. We found that the fungal strain belonging to the genus, Purpureocillium lilacinum, tolerated 12,000 mg/L Cd. SEM manifested that Cd can be bioaccumulated on the crumpled mycelial surface, generating plenty of metal precipitation particles. In addition, pot experiments showed that the inoculation of P. lilacinum N1 could reduce the total Cd content in soil (2.09% in low contaminated soil and 12.56% in high contaminated soil) and greatly promote plant growth (2.16~3.13 times). Although the Cd concentration of plants was increased by 112.8% in low contaminated soil and decreased by 9.5% in highly contaminated soil with the inoculation of P. lilacinum N1, the total uptake of Cd by plants was greatly improved—1.84~3.6 times higher than that in CK groups. All our results suggest that P. lilacinum N1 is a valuable candidate for the bioremediation of Cd-contaminated soils because of its dual effects on the total Cd content in soil and Cd uptake in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioprocessing of Mine and Metallurgical Wastes)
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13 pages, 2173 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Milling and pH on Co, Ni, Zn and Cu Bioleaching from Polymetallic Sulfide Concentrate
by Jarno Mäkinen, Tiina Heikola, Marja Salo and Päivi Kinnunen
Minerals 2021, 11(3), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11030317 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2721
Abstract
Acid bioleaching of a low-grade and polymetallic sulfide concentrate was studied, in order to determine suitable feed material particle size and pH for efficient leaching of valuable metals. The sulfide concentrate consisted of pyrite (50 wt %), pyrrhotite (31 wt %), quartz (10 [...] Read more.
Acid bioleaching of a low-grade and polymetallic sulfide concentrate was studied, in order to determine suitable feed material particle size and pH for efficient leaching of valuable metals. The sulfide concentrate consisted of pyrite (50 wt %), pyrrhotite (31 wt %), quartz (10 wt %) and lower amounts of cobalt, nickel, zinc and copper (each <1 wt %). After adaptation of microorganisms in shake flasks, stirred tank tests were conducted at different pH levels and supplementing feed material at different particle sizes (milled to d80 < 150 µm, <50 µm, <28 µm, <19 µm). The operation at pH 1.8 was seen prone to iron precipitation, while this was not observed at a pH between 1.3 and 1.5. Additional milling to decrease particle size from the initial d80 < 150 µm had a major positive effect on cobalt- and nickel-leaching yields, proposing that at least d80 < 28 µm should be targeted. The best leaching yields for the main economic elements, cobalt and nickel, were 98% and 94%, respectively, reached with d80 < 19 µm at pH 1.3. However, it was considered that at pH 1.5, similar results could be obtained. This research sets the basis for continuing the experiments at a continuous pilot scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioprocessing of Mine and Metallurgical Wastes)
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19 pages, 4469 KiB  
Article
(Bio)dissolution of Glassy and Diopside-Bearing Metallurgical Slags: Experimental and Economic Aspects
by Anna Potysz, Bartosz Mikoda and Michał Napieraj
Minerals 2021, 11(3), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11030262 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2209
Abstract
Dissolution of diopside-bearing slag and its amorphous counterpart was investigated to decipher recovery potential of these slags. The contribution of direct slag phase dissolution was investigated using a biotic solution with Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans versus sterile growth medium, whereas citric acid was applied to [...] Read more.
Dissolution of diopside-bearing slag and its amorphous counterpart was investigated to decipher recovery potential of these slags. The contribution of direct slag phase dissolution was investigated using a biotic solution with Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans versus sterile growth medium, whereas citric acid was applied to demonstrate slags dissolution in organic medium. Potential metal donor slag phases and easily released elements were identified by comparing theoretical and experimental dissolution ratios. It was shown that K and Na were the most mobile elements leaching from glassy and diopside slag (up to 99%). Recovery targeted metals were released in the quantities of 56% (Cu)–96% (Zn) from glassy slag and 27% (Cu)–98% (Zn) from diopside slag. Results demonstrated that studied slags are good candidates for Zn recovery during short-term treatment, whereas extension of time would be required for efficient Cu extraction. Abiotic growth medium had little effect on metal leaching (up to 53% versus only 3% for the glassy and diopside slags, respectively). Glassy slag revealed greater susceptibility to dissolution as compared to diopside slag. Further studies improving recovery conditions are expected to improve environmental soundness of proposed treatments and to generate residues depleted in toxic elements. This study highlights the importance of evaluation of individual slags in terms of metal and major elements leachability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioprocessing of Mine and Metallurgical Wastes)
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15 pages, 6760 KiB  
Article
Sequential Bioleaching of Pyritic Tailings and Ferric Leaching of Nonferrous Slags as a Method for Metal Recovery from Mining and Metallurgical Wastes
by Natalya Fomchenko and Maxim Muravyov
Minerals 2020, 10(12), 1097; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10121097 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2639
Abstract
In this work, we proposed a method for biohydrometallurgical processing of mining (old pyritic flotation tailings) and metallurgical (slag) wastes to recover gold and other nonferrous metals. Since this processing allows the removal of toxic metals or at least decreases their content in [...] Read more.
In this work, we proposed a method for biohydrometallurgical processing of mining (old pyritic flotation tailings) and metallurgical (slag) wastes to recover gold and other nonferrous metals. Since this processing allows the removal of toxic metals or at least decreases their content in the solids, this approach may reduce the negative environmental impacts of such waste. The proposed process was based on pyritic tailings’ bioleaching to recover metals and produce leach liquor containing a strong oxidizing agent (ferric sulfate) to dissolve nonferrous metal from slag. This approach also allows us to increase concentrations of nonferrous metals in the pregnant leach solution after pyritic waste bioleaching to allow efficient extraction. The old pyritic tailings were previously leached with 0.25% sulfuric acid for 10 min to remove soluble metal sulfates. As a result, 36% of copper and 35% of zinc were extracted. After 12 days of bioleaching with a microbial consortium containing Leptospirillum spp., Sulfobacillus spp., Ferroplasma spp., and Acidithiobacillus spp. at 35 °C, the total recovery of metals from pyritic tailings reached 68% for copper and 77% for zinc; and subsequent cyanidation allowed 92% recovery of gold. Ferric leaching of two types of slag at 70 °C with the leachate obtained during bioleaching of the tailings and containing 15 g/L of Fe3+ allowed 88.9 and 43.4% recovery of copper and zinc, respectively, from copper slag within 150 min. Meanwhile, 91.5% of copper, 84.1% of nickel, and 70.2% of cobalt were extracted from copper–nickel slag within 120 min under the same conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioprocessing of Mine and Metallurgical Wastes)
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