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Influence of Sulfur Concentration on Bioleaching of Heavy Metals from Industrial Waste Sludge

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Abstract:

The bioleaching process, including acidification and solubilization of heavy metals, is a promising method for removing heavy metals from industrial waste sludge. Solubilization of heavy metals in industrial waste sludge is governed by adding elemental sulfur. A sulfur concentration exceeding 0.5% (w/v) inhibits sulfate production and the activity of acidophilic bacteria. Sulfate production was described well by a substrate inhibition expression in Haldane's kinetics. After 15 days of bioleaching, 79 to 81% copper, 50 to 69% lead, and 49 to 69% nickel were solubilized from sludge with a sulfur concentration of 0.5 to 1.0% (w/v). Experimental results indicated that the optimal sulfur concentration for the maximum solubilization rate of copper and nickel was 0.5% (w/v) and 1.0% (w/v) for lead. The profiles of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis confirmed that indigenous acidophilic Acidithiobacilli (A. thiooxidans and A. ferrooxidans) existed and were the dominant species in the bioleaching process.

Keywords: acidophilic Acidithiobacilli; bioleaching; heavy metals; industrial waste sludge; sulfur concentration

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/106143010X12609736966720

Publication date: 2010-11-01

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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