Publication details

Leachability of metals from waste incineration residues by iron- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria

Authors

KREMSER Klemens THALLNER Sophie STRBIK Dorina SPIESS Sabine KUČERA Jiří VACULOVIČ Tomáš VŠIANSKÝ Dalibor HABERBAUER Marianne MANDL Martin GUEBITZ Georg M.

Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Environmental Management
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Citation
Web https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111734
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111734
Keywords Waste incineration residues; Artificial metal ore; Bioleaching; Metal recovery; Iron- and sulfur-oxidizing acidophiles
Description Hazardous waste disposal via incineration generates a substantial amount of ashes and slags which pose an environmental risk due to their toxicity. Currently, these residues are deposited in landfills with loss of potentially recyclable raw material. In this study, the use of acidophilic bioleaching bacteria (Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, and Leptospirillum ferrooxidans) as an environmentally friendly, efficient strategy for the recovery of valuable metals from incineration residues was investigated. Zinc, Cobalt, Copper, and Manganese from three different incineration residues were bio-extracted up to 100% using A. ferrooxidans under ferrous iron oxidation. The other metals showed lower leaching efficiencies based on the type of culture used. Sulfur-oxidizing cultures A. ferrooxidans and A. thiooxidans, containing sulfur as the sole substrate, expressed a significantly lower leaching efficiency (up to 50%). According to ICP-MS, ashes and slags contained Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, Cr, Cd, and Ni in economically attractive concentrations between 0.2 and 75 mg g-1. Compared to conventional hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical processes, our biological approach provides many advantages such as: the use of a limited amount of used strong acids (H2SO4 or HCl), recycling operations at lower temperatures (~30 °C) and no emission of toxic gases during combustion (i.e., dioxins and furans).
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