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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2020

11 Metal bioleaching: fundamentals and geobiotechnical application of aerobic and anaerobic acidophiles

Jeannette Marrero, Orquidea Coto and Axel Schippers


Bioleaching of sulfide ores has been extensively studied for more than 50 years and is applied worldwide at industrial level. However, the processing of oxide ores such as laterites lags behind in theory and application. This book chapter provides an update of the biotechnical applications of acidophiles in biomining of sulfide ores as well as will focus on the bioleaching of iron oxide minerals for the recovery of nickel, cobalt, manganese, and copper mainly. Moreover, this chapter gives an update of the main adaptation mechanisms to low pH developed by acidophiles. In addition, an overview is given about fundamentals of the mechanisms of bioleaching of sulfide and laterite ores, including aerobic and anaerobic bioprocesses, as well as examples of commercial applications and future directions for biomining with acidophiles.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston