Bioextraction of Copper from Printed Circuit Boards: Influence of Initial Concentration of Ferrous Iron
Printed circuit boards are found in all electric and electronic equipment and are particularly problematic to recycle because of the heterogeneous mix of organic material, metals, and fiberglass. Additionally, printed circuit boards can be considered a secondary source of copper and bacterial leaching can be applied to copper recovery. This study investigated the influence of initial concentration of ferrous iron on bacterial leaching to recover copper from printed circuit boards using Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans-LR. Printed circuit boards from computers were comminuted using a hammer mill. The powder obtained was magnetically separated and the non magnetic material used in this study. A shake flask study was carried out on the non magnetic material using a rotary shaker at 30°C, 170 rpm and different initial concentrations of ferrous iron (gL−1): 6.75; 13.57 and 16.97. Abiotic controls were also run in parallel. The monitored parameters were pH, Eh, ferrous iron concentration and copper extraction (spectroscopy of atomic absorption). The results showed that using initial concentration of ferrous iron of 6.75gL−1 were extracted 99% of copper by bacterial leaching.
Keywordsbioextraction ferrous iron copper printed circuit boards Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans-LR
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