Biomineral Processing: A Valid Eco-Friendly Alternative for Metal Extraction.
- *Corresponding Author:
- Lala Behari Sukla
Bioresources Engineering Department, CSIR-Institute of Minerals & Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar-751013, Orissa, India
Fax: +91-674 2581637
Received date: 05/07/2014; Accepted date: 28/07/2014
Over the past few years, the applications of certain microorganisms have gained importance in the field of applied environmental microbiology. Amongst them, biomineral processing is such field that deals with metal mining from ores, concentrates, industrial wastes, overburdens etc. under the impact of microorganisms and/or their metabolites. The most successful advancement of mineral biotechnology so far is on copper, uranium, nickel-cobalt and gold bearing ores. Treatment of mineral industry effluents by microorganisms, with incidental recovery of some metal values constitutes an equally important area of biomineral processing. The most common method followed for leaching or extraction of metal values is through shake flask (a lab scale method) followed by bioreactors or percolation columns (a bench scale method) and finally to heap leaching (a pilot scale method). Bio-leaching of mono- and multiple-sulphides is now coming to be known as an established commercial process. The present review discusses the microorganisms involved in biomineral processing, mechanism of metal extraction, molecular methodologies adopted for microbial identification with our experience on application of microorganism.