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Biomining of metals present in wastes rich in metals

Grant number: 19/19144-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2020
Effective date (End): May 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Process Industries
Principal researcher:Danielle Maass
Grantee:Igor Yannick das Neves Vasconcellos Brandão
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciência e Tecnologia (ICT). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São José dos Campos. São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil


Annually, millions of tons of metals are wasted either mining or electronic waste. In addition to the obvious economic loss from raw material waste, inadequate waste disposal and treatment results in incalculable environmental losses. Due to the toxicity and inefficiency of traditional recovery technologies, biomining has become a cutting-edge technology. The term biomining is used to designate technologies that use biological systems to facilitate the extraction and recovery of metals present in ores or wastes. Although this process is already well developed for some types of waste, it still needs to be further developed, especially in the process parameters, in the extraction of different metals simultaneously and in processing time. The aim of this proposal is to evaluate the influence of process parameters on the metals recovery rate from mineral residues and electronic waste (printed circuit boards - PCBs). Posteriorly, it is intended to optimize the process parameters for processes in bioreactors in order to obtain a faster, more efficient and robust recovery. The optimization will be accomplished through tools such as factorial design of experiments and statistical analyzes such as, e.g., desirability profile. Although the bacterium Rhodococcus erythropolis has not yet been explored for this purpose, it has already shown quite promising in works previously carried out by the proponents. Thus, it is intended to use this bacterium to recovering of different precious metals from the residues. (AU)

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