Wykorzystanie mikroorganizmów i roślin do pozyskiwania metali

Agnieszka Gałuszka


The use of microorganisms and plants in metal extracting.
S u m m a r y. Technologies using living organisms for extracting metals from mine wastes, ore concentrates and poor quality ores have been developed since the early 1980s. Of these technologies, the most popular is biomining that uses the natural ability of microorganisms to leach metals. Microorganisms oxidize sulfur and iron in sulfide ores, thus contributing to the conversion of insoluble metal sulfides to soluble sulfates, which enables to recover pure metals from extracts. By degrading the mineral (rock) matrix, microorganisms make extraction of precious metals with traditional techniques easier and more effective. Phytominig is based on the tendency of some plant species to bioaccumulate excessive amounts of metals from their hostrock. The plants, called hyperaccumulators are grown on highly mineralized soils or post-mine lands and their yield (bio-ore) is used as a pure metal source. Compared to the biomining, this technology is not so popular primarily because of the longevity of this process and its unprofitability. This report describes bio- and phytomining technologies, the most important species and their ecological demands, as well as biochemical processes that are associated with bio- and phytomining. The advantages and disadvantages of these technologies, and their potential for future applications are summarized in the last chapter.

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