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Open AccessArticle

Gold Bioleaching from Printed Circuit Boards of Mobile Phones by Aspergillus niger in a Culture without Agitation and with Glucose as a Carbon Source

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Unidad de Servicios de Apoyo en Resolución Analítica (SARA), Universidad Veracruzana, Luis Castelazo Ayala s/n, Col. Industrial Animas 91190, Xalapa, Veracruz 91190, Mexico
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Departamento Producción y Sanidad Vegetal, Facultad de Ingeniería Agronómica, Universidad del Tolima, Barrio Santa Helena, Ibagué, Tolima 730001, Colombia
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Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Veracruzana, Circuito Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán s/n, 91090, Xalapa, Veracruz 91090, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2019, 9(5), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9050521
Received: 6 April 2019 / Revised: 22 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 7 May 2019
Hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical processes to recover gold (Au) from cell-phone printed circuit boards (PCBs) have the disadvantage of generating corrosive residues and consuming a large amount of energy. Therefore, it is necessary to look for biological processes that have low energy consumption and are friendly to the environment. Among the biological alternatives for the recovery of Au from PCB is the use of cyanogenic bacteria and filamentous fungi in cultures with agitation. Considering that it is important to explore the response of microorganisms in cultures without agitation to reduce energy expenditure in the recovery of metals from PCB, the present investigation evaluated the capacity of Aspergillus niger MXPE6 and a fungal consortium to induce Au bioleaching from PCB in a culture medium with glucose as a carbon source and without agitation (pH 4.5). The results indicate that the treatments with PCB inoculated with the fungal consortium showed a considerable decrease in pH (2.8) in comparison with the treatments inoculated with A. niger MXPE6 (4.0). The fungal consortium showed a significantly higher Au bioleaching (56%) than A. niger MXPE6 (17%). Finally, the use of fungal consortia grown without agitation could be an alternative to recover metals from PCB, saving energy and material resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: metal bioleaching; energy saving; filamentous fungi; fungal consortium; electronic wastes metal bioleaching; energy saving; filamentous fungi; fungal consortium; electronic wastes
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Argumedo-Delira, R.; Gómez-Martínez, M.J.; Soto, B.J. Gold Bioleaching from Printed Circuit Boards of Mobile Phones by Aspergillus niger in a Culture without Agitation and with Glucose as a Carbon Source. Metals 2019, 9, 521.

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