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Resources 2018, 7(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources7010003

A Review of the Application of Ultrasound in Bioleaching and Insights from Sonication in (Bio)Chemical Processes

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, 4 Engineering Drive 4, Singapore 117585, Singapore
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Received: 10 November 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 24 December 2017
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Abstract

Chemical and biological leaching is practiced on a commercial scale for the mining of metals from ores. Although bioleaching is an environmentally-friendly alternative to chemical leaching, one of the principal shortcomings is the slow rate of leaching which needs to be addressed. The application of ultrasound in bioleaching, termed sonobioleaching, is a technique which has been reported to increase the rate and extent of metal extraction. This article reviews efforts made in the field of sonobioleaching. Since bioleaching is effectively a biological and chemical process, the effects of sonication on chemical leaching/reactions and biological processes are also reviewed. Although sonication increases metal extraction by increasing the metabolite production and enhanced mixing at a micro scale, research is limited in terms of the microorganisms explored. This paper highlights some shortcomings and limitations of existing techniques, and proposes directions for future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioleaching; sonobioleaching; ultrasound; sonochemical leaching; two-step bioleaching; biological processes bioleaching; sonobioleaching; ultrasound; sonochemical leaching; two-step bioleaching; biological processes
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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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Vyas, S.; Ting, Y.-P. A Review of the Application of Ultrasound in Bioleaching and Insights from Sonication in (Bio)Chemical Processes. Resources 2018, 7, 3.

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