Prikladnaia biokhimiia i mikrobiologiia

Metal solubilization from powdered printed circuit boards by microbial consortium from bauxite and pyrite ores.

PMID 23882946


With the current rapid developments in technology, there is an increasing accumulation of outdated electronic equipment. The primary reason for this increase is the low rate of recycling due to the complex nature of such waste. Bioleaching offers a promising solution for this problem. Study was conducted on the solubilization of heavy metals from electronic waste (e-waste). For this purpose, a microbial consortium from bauxite and pyrite ore samples was obtained using a simple "top down" approach. Essentially, printed circuit boards (PCB) were obtained and used as representative samples of e-waste. Various concentrations (1-5%) of PCB powder were subjected to bioleaching, and the effects on metal solubilization, changes in pH and concentration of ferrous iron produced were assessed. It was observed that a maximum of 96.93% Cu and 93.33% Zn was solubilized by microbial consortium from 10 g/l of PCB powder, whereas only 10.26% Ni was solubilized from 30 g/l of PCB powder. For lead, only 0.58% solubilization was achieved from 20 g/l of PCB powder. An analysis of the precipitate formed during bioleaching using scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray analysis revealed the presence of Tin (59.96%), Cu (23.97%), Pb (9.30%) and Fe (5.92%).