Title MINIREVIEW] Microbial Leaching of Metals from Solid Industrial Wastes
Author Debaraj Mishra1 and Young Ha Rhee2*
Address 1Sungeel Hi-Tech Ltd., Incheon 404-250, Republic of Korea, 2Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Republic of Korea
Bibliography Journal of Microbiology, 52(1),1–7, 2014,
DOI 10.1007/s12275-014-3532-3
Key Words Acidophiles, solid waste, microbial leaching, metal recovery
Abstract Biotechnological applications for metal recovery have played a greater role in recovery of valuable metals from low grade sulfide minerals from the beginning of the middle era till the end of the twentieth century. With depletion of ore/minerals and implementation of stricter environmental rules, microbiological applications for metal recovery have been shifted towards solid industrial wastes. Due to certain restrictions in conventional processes, use of microbes has garnered increased attention. The process is environmentally-friendly, economical and cost-effective. The major microorganisms in recovery of heavy metals are acidophiles that thrive at acidic pH ranging from 2.0–4.0. These microbes aid in dissolving metals by secreting inorganic and organic acids into aqueous media. Some of the well-known acidophilic bacteria such as Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, Leptospirillum ferrooxidans and Sulfolobus spp. are wellstudied for bioleaching activity, whereas, fungal species like Penicillium spp. and Aspergillus niger have been thoroughly studied for the same process. This mini-review focuses on the acidophilic microbial diversity and application of those microorganisms toward solid industrial wastes.