In this research, Zn, Ni, and Cu recovery from mobile phone printed circuit boards was investigated. The initial pH and pulp density using Aspergillus niger or Penicillium simplicissimum fungi were optimized to improve the recovery of Zn, Ni, and Cu using a central composite design. Fungi were able to recover 97% of Cu. Often for Ni recovery, A. niger was more effective, but in low pulp densities and low pH, P. simplicissimum was preferred. For recovery of Zn, A. niger is more appropriate at pH lower than 6, but P. simplicissimum outperforms at pH higher than 6. Under the optimum conditions (pulp density of 4 gL−1 and initial pH 10), the respective recovery of Cu, Ni, and Zn was determined as 94%, 100%, and 100% using A. niger as well as 100%, 95%, and 87% using P. simplicissimum. At alkaline conditions, oxalic acid, citric acid, and gluconic acid are the main acids produced by A. niger; the main acid produced by P. simplicissimum is oxalic acid. Similarly, FTIR and chemical characteristics of the metabolites (the organic acid produced) were analyzed under optimal conditions using HPLC. A. niger in alkaline and acidic conditions produces more acids which lead to higher recovery.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Habuer NJ, Moriguchi Y (2017) Resource-availability scenario analysis for formal and informal recycling of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment in China. J Mater Cycles Waste 19(2):599–611
Li J, Liang C, Ma C (2015) Bioleaching of gold from waste printed circuit boards by Chromobacterium violaceum. J Mater Cycles Waste 17(3):529–539
Ghodrat M, Rhamdani MA, Khaliq A, Brroks G, Samali B (2018) Thermodynamic analysis of metals recycling out of waste printed circuit board through secondary copper smelting. J Mater Cycles Waste 20(1):386–401
Arshadi M, Nili S, Yaghmaei S (2019) Ni and Cu recovery by bioleaching from the printed circuit boards of mobile phones in non-conventional medium. J Environ Manage 250:109502
Li J, Wen J, Guo Y, An N, Liang C, Ge Z (2020) Bioleaching of gold from waste printed circuit boards by alkali-tolerant Pseudomonas fluorescens. Hydrometallurgy 194:105260
Rudnik E, Pierzynka M, Handzlik P (2016) Ammoniacal leaching and recovery of copper from alloyed low-grade e-waste. J Mater Cycles Waste 18(2):318–328
Yang C, Zhu N, Shen W, Zhang T, Wu P (2017) Bioleaching of copper from metal concentrates of waste printed circuit boards by a newly isolated Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans strain Z1. J Mater Cycles Waste 19(1):247–255
Amiri F, Yaghmaei S, Mousavi SM, Sheibani S (2011) Recovery of metals from spent refinery hydrocracking catalyst using adapted Aspergillus niger. Hydrometallurgy 109(1):65–71
Bosecker K (1997) Bioleaching: metal solubilization by microorganisms. FEMS Microbiol Rev 20(3–4):591–604
Anahid S, Yaghmaei S, Ghobadinejad Z (2011) Heavy metal tolerance of fungi. Sci Iran 18(3):502–508
Rasoulnia P, Mousavi SM (2016) V and Ni recovery from a vanadium-rich power plant residual ash using acid producing fungi: Aspergillus niger and Penicillium simplicissimum. RSC Adv 6(11):9139–9151
Brandl H, Bosshard R, Wegmann M (2001) Computer-munching microbes: metal leaching from electronic scrap by bacteria and fungi. Hydrometallurgy 59(2–3):319–326
Mirazimi S, Rashchi F, Saba M (2013) Vanadium removal from roasted LD converter slag: optimization of parameters by response surface methodology (RSM). Sep Purifi Technol 116:175–183
Narayanasamy M, Dhanasekaran D, Vinothini G, Thajuddin N (2018) Extraction and recovery of precious metals from electronic waste printed circuit boards by bioleaching acidophilic fungi. Inte J Environ Sci Technol 15:119–132
Amiri F, Mousavi SM, Yaghmaei S, Barati M (2012) Bioleaching kinetics of a spent refinery catalyst using Aspergillus niger at optimal conditions. Biochem Eng J 67:208–217
Xu TJ, Ting YP (2004) Optimisation on bioleaching of incinerator fly ash by Aspergillus niger—use of central composite design. Enzyme Microb Technol 35(5):444–454
Arshadi M, Yaghmaei S, Esmaeili A (2020) Evaluating the optimal digestion method and value distribution of precious metals from different waste printed circuit boards. J Mater Cycles Waste 22:1690–1698
Mohanty S, Ghosh S, Nayak S, Das AP (2017) Bioleaching of manganese by Aspergillus sp. isolated from mining deposits. Chemosphere 172:302–309
Wu HY, Ting YP (2006) Metal extraction from municipal solid waste (MSW) incinerator fly ash—chemical leaching and fungal bioleaching. Enzyme Microb Technol 38(6):839–847
Arshadi M, Yaghmaei S, Mousavi SM (2018) Content evaluation of different waste PCBs to enhance basic metals recycling. Resour Conserv Recycl 139:298–306
Bahaloo-Horeh N (2015) Fungal leaching of spent mobile phone batteries in chemical engineering-biotechnology. Tarbiat Modares University, p 132
Sierra-Alvarez R (2009) Removal of copper, chromium and arsenic from preservative-treated wood by chemical extraction-fungal bioleaching. Waste Manag 29(6):1885–1891
Biswas S, Dey R, Mukherjee S, Banerjee PC (2013) Bioleaching of nickel and cobalt from lateritic chromite overburden using the culture filtrate of Aspergillus niger. Appl Biochem Biotech 170(7):1547–1559
Nielsen KF, Mogensen JM, Johnsen M, Larsen TO, Frisvad JC (2009) Review of secondary metabolites and mycotoxins from the Aspergillus niger group. Anal Bioanal Chem 395(5):1225–1242
Xia M, Bao P, Liu A, Wang M, Shen L, Yu R, Liu Y, Chen M, Li J, Wu X, Qiu G, Zeng W (2018) Bioleaching of low-grade waste printed circuit boards by mixed fungal culture and its community structure analysis. Resour Conserv Recycl 136:267–275
Burgstaller W, Schinner F (1993) Leaching of metals with fungi. J Biotechnol 27(2):91–116
Bahaloo-Horeh N, Mousavi SM, Baniasadi M (2018) Use of adapted metal tolerant Aspergillus niger to enhance bioleaching efficiency of valuable metals from spent lithium-ion mobile phone batteries. J Clean Prod 197:1546–1557
Kim JO, Lee YW, Chung J (2013) The role of organic acids in the mobilization of heavy metals from soil. KSCE J Civ Eng 17(7):1596–1602
Mohamed MA, Jaafar J, Ismail AF, Othman MHD, Rahman MA (2017) Chapter 1-Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy. In: Hilal N et al (eds) Membrane characterization. Elsevier, pp 3–29
Djomgoue P, Njopwouo D (2013) FT-IR spectroscopy applied for surface clays characterization. J Surf Eng Mat Adv Technol 3:275–282
Nandiyanto ABD, Oktiani R, Ragadhita R (2019) How to read and interpret FTIR spectroscope of organic material. Indones J Sci Technol 4(1):97–118
Reena G, Sangita VK (2011) FT-IR studies of e-plastic obtained from obsolete computers. J Chem Pharm Res 3(5):660–667
Smith B (1990) Infrared Spectral Interpretation; A systematic approach. CRC Press, Boca Raton
Juchneski NC, Scherer J, Grochau IH (2013) Disassembly and characterization of liquid crystal screens. Waste Manag Res 31(6):549–558
Part of this study was financially supported by the deputy of research and technology of Sharif University of Technology (Award Number QA: 970713). In addition, the authors are thankful to Iran National Science Foundation (Award Number: 99028031). The authors are grateful to Stat-Ease, Minneapolis, MN, USA, for the provision of the Design-Expert 10 .0 .4 package.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Arshadi, M., Esmaeili, A., Yaghmaei, S. et al. Evaluation of Aspergillus niger and Penicillium simplicissimum for their ability to leach Zn–Ni–Cu from waste mobile phone printed circuit boards. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10163-021-01299-0
- Mobile phone printed circuit boards
- Fungal acid production
- Central composite design