Simultaneous recovery of Ni and Cu from computer-printed circuit boards using bioleaching: statistical evaluation and optimization.
The iron-oxidizing bacterium, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, was cultivated on a medium without ferrous iron. Molecular hydrogen and air were supplied to the medium. It was found that A. ferrooxidans could grow with hydrogen in the pH range between 2.0 and 3.5. A trickle-bed contactor was used to increase the dissolution rate of hydrogen. The doubling time was increased and the cell concentration reached 4.0 x 10(9) cells ml(-1) after 6 days. When the cells taken from the hydrogen medium were transferred back into the medium containing ferrous iron, the growth rate and the iron-oxidizing ability were the same as the predictions assuming that the microorganism grown with hydrogen was A. ferrooxidans.