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Bioleaching of Heavy Metals from Sewage Sludge Using Indigenous Iron-Oxidizing Microorganisms: Effect of Substrate Concentration and Total Solids

Authors: Ashish Pathak, M. G. Dastidar, T. R. Sreekrishnan

Abstract:

In the present study, the effect of ferrous sulfate concentration and total solids on bioleaching of heavy metals from sewage sludge has been examined using indigenous iron-oxidizing microorganisms. The experiments on effects of ferrous sulfate concentrations on bioleaching were carried out using ferrous sulfate of different concentrations (5-20 g L-1) to optimize the concentration of ferrous sulfate for maximum bioleaching. A rapid change in the pH and ORP took place in first 2 days followed by a slow change till 16th day in all the sludge samples. A 10 g L-1 ferrous sulfate concentration was found to be sufficient in metal bioleaching in the following order: Zn: 69%>Cu: 52%>Cr: 46%>Ni: 45. Further, bioleaching using 10 g/L ferrous sulfate was found to be efficient up to 20 g L-1 sludge solids concentration. The results of the present study strongly indicate that using 10 g L-1 ferrous sulfate indigenous iron-oxidizing microorganisms can bring down pH to a value needed for significant metal solubilization.

Keywords: Bioleaching, heavy metals, sewage sludge, iron oxidizing microorganisms

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1074708

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