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Development of biomineralization approaches for the selective metal recovery from end-of-life products

Bioprecipitation of base and critical metals from bioleaching solutions from electronic waste (PCB and LIB).

Development of biomineralization approaches for the selective metal recovery from end-of-life products

Start: 01 January 2021

End: 01 January 2023

Supervisors :
Eric van Hullebusch

Related themes :
Earth System Science

Status: In progress

The advent of advanced technologies, increasing urbanization and global economic development are the main causes for the exponential production and consumption of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). The resulting electronic waste contains around 60% of metals and metalloids, ranging from rare earth elements (REE) to platinum group metals (PGM), that are essential for the production of EEE and the development of low-carbon energies. This thesis is part of the Eramin2 funded BaCLEM project, which aims for the bioprocessing of pregnant leach solutions (PLS) from low-grade PCB’s and spent LIBs and the development of tradable metallic compounds and products through innovative biotechnological approaches. In particular, this thesis’s goal is to optimize the biotechnological conditions for selective metal recovery that will be achieved through the processing of pregnant leach solutions (PLS) (generated from both acidophilic and heterotrophic bioleaching routes). Among the existing different bio-processing strategies, deserve specific attention. The first one is the production of biogenic sulfide aiming at the selective metal sulfide bio-precipitation for Cu, Co, Ni recovery, the second one is the ureolysis-involved metal carbonate precipitation for Ni, Co, Li, Mn recovery and the last one is related to nanoparticles production involving bioreduction of precious elements such as Au, Pd and Ag.

Fundings

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Biogeochemistry at the Antropocene of Elements and Emerging Contaminants
Biogeochemistry at the Antropocene of Elements and Emerging Contaminants
The advent of advanced technologies, increasing urbanization and global economic development are th...
Earth System Science
Earth System Science
Measuring, understanding and modelling the functioning of our planet's surface, also called the Critical Zone.