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Journal of hazardous materials

Bioleaching of heavy metals from sewage sludge by indigenous iron-oxidizing microorganisms using ammonium ferrous sulfate and ferrous sulfate as energy sources: a comparative study.


PMID 19586718

Abstract

The potential of indigenous iron-oxidizing microorganisms enriched at initial neutral pH of the sewage sludge for bioleaching of heavy metals was investigated at initial neutral pH of the sludge using ammonium ferrous sulfate (FAS) and ferrous sulfate (FS) as an energy sources in two different sets of experiments. After 16 days of bioleaching, 56% Cu, 48% Ni, 68% Zn and 42% C were removed from the sludge using ammonium ferrous sulfate as an energy source. On the other hand, 64% Cu, 58% Ni, 76% Zn and 52% Cr were removed using ferrous sulfate. Further, 32% nitrogen and 24% phosphorus were leached from the sludge using ferrous sulfate, whereas only 22% nitrogen and 17% phosphorus were removed using ammonium ferrous sulfate. The BCR sequential extraction study on speciation of metals showed that using ammonium ferrous sulfate and ferrous sulfate, all the metals remained in bioleached sludge as stable form (F4 fraction). The results of the present study indicate that the bioleached sludge would be safer for land application. Also, the fertilizing property was largely conserved in the bioleached sludge using both the substrates.