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Biostimulation of jarosite and iron oxide-bearing mine waste enhances subsequent metal recovery

Roberts, Mark, Srivastava, Pallavee ORCID:, Webster, Gordon ORCID:, Weightman, Andrew J. ORCID: and Sapsford, Devin J. ORCID: 2023. Biostimulation of jarosite and iron oxide-bearing mine waste enhances subsequent metal recovery. Journal of Hazardous Materials 445 , 130498. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.130498

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Novel resource recovery technologies are required for metals-bearing hazardous wastes in order to achieve circular economy outcomes and industrial symbiosis. Iron oxide and co-occurring hydroxysulphate-bearing wastes are globally abundant and often contain other elements of value. This work addresses the biostimulation of indigenous microbial communities within an iron oxide/ hydroxysulphate-bearing waste and its effect on the subsequent recoverability of metals by hydrochloric, sulphuric, citric acids, and EDTA. Laboratory-scale flow-through column reactors were used to examine the effect of using glycerol (10% w/w) to stimulate the in situ microbial community in an iron oxide/ hydroxysulphate-bearing mine waste. The effects on the evolution of leachate chemistry, changes in microbiological community, and subsequent hydrometallurgical extractability of metals were studied. Results demonstrated increased leachability and selectivity of Pb, Cu, and Zn relative to iron after biostimulation with a total of 0.027kg of glycerol per kg of waste. Biostimulation, which can be readily applied in situ, potentially opens new routes to metal recovery from globally abundant waste streams that contain jarosite and iron oxides.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Start Date: 2022-11-25
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0304-3894
Funders: NERC, EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 November 2022
Date of Acceptance: 24 November 2022
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2023 18:37

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