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Bioleaching of Spent Catalyst using Moderate Thermophiles with Different Pulp Densities and Varying Size Fractions without Fe Supplemented Growth Medium

Authors: Haragobinda Srichandan, Chandra Sekhar Gahan, Dong-Jin Kim, Seoung-Won Lee


Bioleaching of spent catalyst using moderate thermophilic chemolithotrophic acidophiles in growth medium without Fe source was investigated with two different pulp densities and three different size fractions. All the experiments were conducted on shake flasks at a temperature of 65 °C. The leaching yield of Ni and Al was found to be promising with very high leaching yield of 92-96% followed by Al as 41-76%, which means both Ni and Al leaching were favored by the moderate thermophilic bioleaching compared to the mesophilic bioleaching. The acid consumption was comparatively higher for the 10% pulp density experiments. Comparatively minimal difference in the leaching yield with different size fractions and different pulp densities show no requirement of grinding and using low pulp density less than 10%. This process would rather be economical as well as eco-friendly process for future optimization of the recovery of metal values from spent catalyst.

Keywords: Bioleaching, spent catalyst, leaching yield, thermophile.

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