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Metals 2015, 5(3), 1328-1348; doi:10.3390/met5031328

Copper Recovery from Polluted Soils Using Acidic Washing and Bioelectrochemical Systems

Water Environment Technology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg SE-412 96, Sweden
Recycling and Waste Management, Renova AB, Box 156, Gothenburg SE-401 22, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Suresh Bhargava
Received: 1 July 2015 / Revised: 10 July 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrometallurgy)
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Excavation followed by landfilling is the most common method for treating soils contaminated by metals. However, as this solution is not sustainable, alternative techniques are required. Chemical soil washing is one such alternative. The aim of this experimental lab-scale study is to develop a remediation and metal recovery method for Cu contaminated sites. The method is based on the washing of soil or ash (combusted soil/bark) with acidic waste liquids followed by electrolytic Cu recovery by means of bioelectrochemical systems (BES). The results demonstrate that a one- or two-step acidic leaching process followed by water washing removes >80 wt. % of the Cu. Copper with 99.7–99.9 wt. % purity was recovered from the acidic leachates using BES. In all experiments, electrical power was generated during the reduction of Cu. This clearly indicates that Cu can also be recovered from dilute solutions. Additionally, the method has the potential to wash co-pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and oxy-PAHs. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil washing; Cu; PAH; soil remediation; metal recovery; microbial fuel cell soil washing; Cu; PAH; soil remediation; metal recovery; microbial fuel cell

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fedje, K.K.; Modin, O.; Strömvall, A.-M. Copper Recovery from Polluted Soils Using Acidic Washing and Bioelectrochemical Systems. Metals 2015, 5, 1328-1348.

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