Bioleaching of metals from secondary materials using glycolipid biosurfactants
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Author/sCastelein, Martijn; Verbruggen, Florian; Van Renterghem, Lisa; Spooren, Jeroen; Yurramendi, Lourdes; [et al.]
Heavy metal recovery
With the global demand for economically important metals increasing, compounded by the depletion of readily accessible ores, secondary resources and low-grade ores are being targeted to meet growing demands. Novel technologies developed within biobased industries, such as microbial biosurfactants, could be implemented to improve the sustainability of traditional hydrometallurgy techniques. This study investigates newly developed microbial biosurfactants (acidic- and bolaform glycolipids) for the leaching of metals (particularly Cu and Zn) from a suite of mine tailings, metallurgical sludges and automotive shredder residues. Generally, acidic sophorolipids were the most performant, and optimal Cu leaching was observed from a fayalite slag (27%) and a copper sulfide mine tailing (53%). Further investigation of the leached fayalite material showed that leaching was occurring from small metallic Cu droplets in this material via a corrosion-based mechanism, and/or from Cu-Pb sulfides, selective ...