3 Biotech

, 8:100 | Cite as

Enhancement of gold and silver recovery from discarded computer printed circuit boards by Pseudomonas balearica SAE1 using response surface methodology (RSM)

  • Anil Kumar
  • Harvinder Singh Saini
  • Sudhir KumarEmail author
Original Article


Two-step bioleaching was applied using a cyanogenic bacterium Pseudomonas balearica SAE1 to recover gold (Au) and silver (Ag) from the computer printed circuit boards (CPCBs) via central composite design of a response surface methodology (CCD-RSM). To enhance Au and Ag recovery, factors like pH level, pulp density, temperature and glycine concentration were optimized and their interactions were studied. CCD-RSM optimization resulted in 73.9 and 41.6% dissolution of Au and Ag, respectively, at initial pH 8.6, pulp density 5 g/L, temperature 31.2 °C, and glycine concentration 6.8 g/L, respectively. Two quadratic models were proposed by RSM which can be utilized as an efficient tool to predict Au and Ag recovery through bioleaching. The experimental results are in line with the predicted results, indicating reliability of RSM model in enhancing the Au and Ag recovery from CPCBs. The increased bioleaching yield of Au and Ag from discarded CPCBs has its importance in industrial e-waste recycling and safe disposal.


Bioleaching e-waste CCD-RSM Precious metals Safe disposal 



The authors acknowledge financial support provided by Department of Biotechnology (BT/PR7478/BCE/8/951/2013). We are also grateful to Exigo Industry for providing e-waste.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflicts of interest.


  1. Agate A (1996) Recent advances in microbial mining. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 12(5):487–495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Akcil A, Erust C, Gahan CS, Ozgun M, Sahin M, Tuncuk A (2015) Precious metal recovery from waste printed circuit boards using cyanide and non-cyanide lixiviants—a review. Waste Manag 45:258–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amiri F, Mousavi S, Yaghmaei S (2011) Enhancement of bioleaching of a spent Ni/Mo hydroprocessing catalyst by Penicillium simplicissimum. Sep Purif Technol 80(3):566–576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amiri F, Mousavi S, Yaghmaei S, Barati M (2012) Bioleaching kinetics of a spent refinery catalyst using Aspergillus niger at optimal conditions. Biochem Eng J 67:208–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arshadi M, Mousavi S (2014) Simultaneous recovery of Ni and Cu from computer-printed circuit boards using bioleaching: statistical evaluation and optimization. Bioresour Technol 174:233–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arshadi M, Mousavi S (2015) Enhancement of simultaneous gold and copper extraction from computer printed circuit boards using Bacillus megaterium. Bioresour Technol 175:315–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Arshadi M, Mousavi S, Rasoulnia P (2016) Enhancement of simultaneous gold and copper recovery from discarded mobile phone PCBs using Bacillus megaterium: RSM based optimization of effective factors and evaluation of their interactions. Waste Manag 57:158–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brandl H, Faramarzi MA (2006) Microbe–metal-interactions for the biotechnological treatment of metal-containing solid waste. China Part 4(2):93–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brandl H, Bosshard R, Wegmann M (2001) Computer-munching microbes: metal leaching from electronic scrap by bacteria and fungi. Hydrometallurgy 59(2):319–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brandl H, Lehmann S, Faramarzi MA, Martinelli D (2008) Biomobilization of silver, gold, and platinum from solid waste materials by HCN-forming microorganisms. Hydrometallurgy 94(1):14–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Faramarzi MA, Stagars M, Pensini E, Krebs W, Brandl H (2004) Metal solubilization from metal-containing solid materials by cyanogenic Chromobacterium violaceum. J Biotechnol 113(1):321–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ilyas S, Anwar MA, Niazi SB, Ghauri MA (2007) Bioleaching of metals from electronic scrap by moderately thermophilic acidophilic bacteria. Hydrometallurgy 88(1):180–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Işıldar A, van de Vossenberg J, Rene ER, van Hullebusch ED, Lens PN (2016) Two-step bioleaching of copper and gold from discarded printed circuit boards (PCB). Waste Manag 57:149–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jujun R, Xingjiong Z, Yiming Q, Jian H (2014) A new strain for recovering precious metals from waste printed circuit boards. Waste Manag 34(5):901–907CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kaya M (2016) Recovery of metals and nonmetals from electronic waste by physical and chemical recycling processes. Waste Manag 57:64–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kumar V, Chauhan RS, Sood H, Tandon C (2015) Cost effective quantification of picrosides in Picrorhiza kurroa by employing response surface methodology using HPLC-UV. J Plant Biochem Biotechnol 24(4):376–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kumar A, Holuszko M, Espinosa DCR (2017a) E-waste: an overview on generation, collection, legislation and recycling practices. Resour Conserv Recycl 122:32–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kumar A, Saini HS, Kumar S (2017b) Bioleaching of gold and silver from waste printed circuit boards by Pseudomonas balearica SAE1 isolated from an e-waste recycling facility. Curr Microbiol. Google Scholar
  19. Liang G, Mo Y, Zhou Q (2010) Novel strategies of bioleaching metals from printed circuit boards (PCBs) in mixed cultivation of two acidophiles. Enzyme Microb Technol 47(7):322–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Manikan V, Kalil MS, Hamid AA (2015) Response surface optimization of culture medium for enhanced docosahexaenoic acid production by a Malaysian thraustochytrid. Sci Rep 5:8611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Natarajan G, Ting YP (2014) Pretreatment of e-waste and mutation of alkali-tolerant cyanogenic bacteria promote gold biorecovery. Bioresour Technol 152:80–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Natarajan G, Ting YP (2015) Gold biorecovery from e-waste: an improved strategy through spent medium leaching with pH modification. Chemosphere 136:232–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pradhan JK, Kumar S (2012) Metals bioleaching from electronic waste by Chromobacterium violaceum and Pseudomonads sp. Waste Manage Res 30(11):1151–1159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pradhan JK, Kumar S (2014) Informal e-waste recycling: environmental risk assessment of heavy metal contamination in Mandoli industrial area, Delhi, India. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21(13):7913–7928CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Priya A, Hait S (2017) Comparative assessment of metallurgical recovery of metals from electronic waste with special emphasis on bioleaching. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24(8):6989–7008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rozas EE, Mendes MA, Nascimento CA, Espinosa DC, Oliveira R, Oliveira G, Custodio MR (2017) Bioleaching of electronic waste using bacteria isolated from the marine sponge Hymeniacidon heliophila (Porifera). J Hazard Mater 329:120–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sahni A, Kumar A, Kumar S (2016) Chemo-biohydrometallurgy—a hybrid technology to recover metals from obsolete mobile SIM cards. Environ Nanotechnol Monit Manage 6:130–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Shin D, Jeong J, Lee S, Pandey B, J-c Lee (2013) Evaluation of bioleaching factors on gold recovery from ore by cyanide-producing bacteria. Miner Eng 48:20–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sun ZHI, Xiao Y, Sietsma J, Agterhuis H, Visser G, Yang Y (2015) Characterisation of metals in the electronic waste of complex mixtures of end-of-life ICT products for development of cleaner recovery technology. Waste Manag 35:227–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sun Z, Cao H, Xiao Y, Sietsma J, Jin W, Agterhuis H, Yang Y (2017) Toward sustainability for recovery of critical metals from electronic waste: the hydrochemistry processes. ACS Sustain Chem Eng 5(1):21–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tansel B (2017) From electronic consumer products to e-wastes: global outlook, waste quantities, recycling challenges. Environ Int 98:35–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tuncuk A, Stazi V, Akcil A, Yazici EY, Deveci H (2012) Aqueous metal recovery techniques from e-scrap: hydrometallurgy in recycling. Miner Eng 25(1):28–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Willner J, Fornalczyk A (2013) Extraction of metals from electronic waste by bacterial leaching. Environ Prot Eng 39(1):197–208Google Scholar
  34. Xiang Y, Wu P, Zhu N, Zhang T, Liu W, Wu J, Li P (2010) Bioleaching of copper from waste printed circuit boards by bacterial consortium enriched from acid mine drainage. J Hazard Mater 184(1):812–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anil Kumar
    • 1
  • Harvinder Singh Saini
    • 2
  • Sudhir Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology and BioinformaticsJaypee University of Information TechnologySolanIndia
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia

Personalised recommendations