Biomining - biotechnological systems for the extraction and recovery of metals from secondary sources

Kucuker M. A. , KUCHTA K.

GLOBAL NEST JOURNAL, vol.20, no.4, pp.737-742, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.30955/gnj.002692
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.737-742


Biomining is the common term used to define processes that utilize biological systems to facilitate the extraction of metals from ores. Nowadays, a biomining concept can be defined as a two stage combined biological systems (1st stage bioleaching and 2nd stage biosorption) in order to perform the extraction and recovery of the metals from secondary sources such as industrial and mining waste, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), bottom ash and end of life vehicles. Overwhelming demand and limited sources of metals have resulted in searching new sources so that attentions have been shifted from mining process towards recycling of secondary resources for the recovery of metals. There are several metallurgical processes for metal recovery from the secondary sources such as pyrometallurgical processing, hydrometallurgical and bio/hydronnetal-lurgica I processing. Biomining processes are estimated to be relatively low-cost, environmentally friendly and suitable for both large scale as well as small scale applications under the bio/hydrometallurgical processing. Thus, the process involves physical separation (pre-treatment) and biomining (bioleaching and biosorption) and hydrometallurgical processes for recovery of base metals, rare earth elements (REEs) and precious metals from e-waste was evaluated.