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Electronic waste bioleaching by autochthonous bacteria isolated from the dam at the Sossego copper mine (Carajás, pará)

Grant number: 15/10382-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2015
Effective date (End): May 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Jorge Alberto Soares Tenório
Grantee:Marina Alneng Osborn
Home Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:12/51871-9 - Study Center for Technology in Waste Solid Treatment and Recycling - SCTWSTR, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):16/12271-7 - Polymer use in peel off of nanowire ensembles for photovoltaics applications, BE.EP.IC


Usually, the use of bacteria to solubilize metal has been focused on low content copper and nickel bioleaching processes, in which microorganisms are often acidophilus. These bacteria are also tested as a metal recovery tool for electronic equipment waste, using similar bioleaching methods. Thereby, the following project aims to study the leaching activity of bacteria from the "Sossego" copper mine, in Pará, on electronic equipment waste. As to the methodology, samples collected from the dam will be incubated in 4 different cultures, wherefrom the growing bacteria will be isolated and studied. After expanded, these bacteria's leaching capacities will be tested in Erlenmeyers containing electronic waste samples and culture medium. During this step, supernatant samples have to be frequently collected to quantify the solubilized metal, via EDX. At last, the insolubilized parts will be analyzed by MEV-EDS and the supernatant bacteria will be centrifuged to be studied under transmission electron microscope. The results will allow us not only to select bioleaching and heavy metal accumulator bacteria, as well as to determine if there is any bioactivity which is specific for certain types of metal. Another outcome to be analyzed is the possibility of nanoparticles formation. Therefore, the following project's main purpose is to find a way to recover metal from electronic equipment waste, such as copper and nickel, through bacterial bioleaching processes, as well as explore bacterial nanoparticles production.