Evaluation of copper extraction potential of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from low-grade copper ore

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Research Paper 01/12/2018
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Evaluation of copper extraction potential of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from low-grade copper ore

Awais Iqbal, Khansa Ahsan, Sumera Afzal, Zhang-Huan Shang, Wasim Sajjad, Muhammad Maqsood Ur Rehman, Khadija Usman, Mian Laiq Ur Rehman, Muhammad Usman
Int. J. Biosci.13( 6), 115-121, December 2018.
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Abstract

Bioleaching is an eco-friendly and low-cost technology compared to conventional methods of metals extraction from their respective low-grade ores. Owing to the substantial amount of metals existence in low grade ores, these are prospective resources of metals. This study was aimed to evaluate the copper dissolution potential of environmentally isolated Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Bioleaching was carried out in shake flask experiment. Dissolved copper was quantified by using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS). Bacterial count and pH profiling of the bioleaching system was regularly evaluated. The bioleached residues after bioleaching were studied under scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Initially, abrupt increase in the bacterial count was reported and after 5 days of incubation, slight decline was observed. Slight decrease in pH was reported, which shows that this bacterial strain was capable to produce organic acids. The maximum copper dissolution carried out by P. aeruginosa was 36.1% at particle size of (53-63 μm) during 5 days of experiments. The SEM analysis showed significant porosity and corrosion on the ore surface compared to compact control. Given the importance, this study provided an essential optimized condition that could be helpful for upscaling the bioleaching procedure for copper extraction.

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