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Comparative bioleaching of metals from pulverized and non-pulverized PCBs of cell phone charger: advantages of non-pulverized PCBs

Abstract

Sample inhomogeneity is a severe issue in printed circuit boards especially when we are comparing the bioleaching efficiency. To avoid the ambiguous results obtained due to inhomogeneity in PCBs, 12 similar cell phone chargers (of renowned company) having same make and batch number were collected from scrap market. PCBs obtained from them were used in present studies. Out of these 12, three PCBs were used separately for chemical analysis of PCBs with prior acid digestion in aqua regia. It was found that, 10.8, 68.0, and 710.9 mg/l of Zn, Pb, and Cu were present in it, respectively. Six PCBs were used for bioleaching experiment with two variations, pulverized and non-pulverized. Though the pulverized sample have shown better leaching than non-pulverized one, former has some disadvantages if overall recycling of e-waste (metallic and nonmetallic fraction) is to be addressed. At the end of leaching experiments, copper was recovered using a simple setup of electrodeposition and 92.85% recovery was attained. The acidophiles involved in bioleaching were identified by culture dependent and culture independent techniques such as DGGE and species specific primers in PCR.

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Acknowledgments

We express our thanks to Dr. Pravin Puranik, School of Life Sciences, North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon, for providing AAS facility. We are also thankful to Dr. Kokne P. M. and Dr. Barde, N. P., Department of Physics, Badrinarayan Barwale College, Jalna, for their technical support.

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ANN, DAM and WPS conceived and designed the experiments; JVV and SNB did experimental work related to bioleaching; DPK and DAP have designed and performed experiments related to culture independent identification of acidophile; KRM, NBS, SSH, and DAM performed data analysis. All the authors have read and approved the final manuscript. All authors gave final approval of submission.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nitin Adhapure.

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The authors declare that there are no competing interests.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Joshi, V., Shah, N., Wakte, P. et al. Comparative bioleaching of metals from pulverized and non-pulverized PCBs of cell phone charger: advantages of non-pulverized PCBs. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 28277–28286 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-0780-x

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Keywords

  • PCB
  • Bioleaching
  • E-waste
  • Acidophiles
  • DGGE
  • Species specific primers