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Co-processing of sulfidic mining wastes and metal-rich post-consumer wastes by biohydrometallurgy

Abstract : The consequence of a strong economic growth in emerging countries combined with the rise of the world population is an increase in the demand for raw materials, leading to growing concern regarding their availability and the global efficiency of the supply chain. These tensions reinforce the need to associate the development of the recycling industry to the identification of new resources which could be used for the recovery of valuable materials. The purpose of this study is to develop a novel biological co-processing approach for the recovery of strategic metals in both sulfidic mining wastes and post-consumer wastes (WEEE). The principle of this treatment is based on two steps: mine wastes are biologically oxidized, resulting in the production of a ferric iron-sulfuric acid lixiviant solution which is used to leach base and other soluble metals contained in e-scraps. Batch tests were carried out using flotation tailings wastes containing 60% of pyrite and grinded Printed Circuit Boards (PCB < 750 μm) with a solid load of 2.5%. Two series of tests were conducted in order to study the influence of the ferric iron concentration and of the bacterial activity on metals dissolution. Results showed that a higher ferric iron concentration led to an increase in the dissolution rate of copper which is the main metal contained in the PCBs. Moreover, a dissolution yield of 98.3% was reached for copper after 2 days when bacterial activity was observed, corresponding to an increase of about 20% compared to the tests without bacterial activity. Finally, this study highlights the importance of the availability of ferric iron and of the bacterial oxidation of ferrous iron for the feasibility of this bioleaching process dealing with the recycling of PCBs.
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Dernière modification le : vendredi 5 juin 2020 - 14:40:06
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Anne-Gwenaëlle Guezennec, Kathy Bru, Jérôme Jacob, Patrick d'Hugues. Co-processing of sulfidic mining wastes and metal-rich post-consumer wastes by biohydrometallurgy. Minerals Engineering, Elsevier, 2015, pp.10.1016/j.mineng.2014.12.033. ⟨10.1016/j.mineng.2014.12.033⟩. ⟨hal-01102658⟩

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