Microbial Leaching of Metals from Printed Circuit Boards
Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), e.g. printed circuit boards, contain substantial amounts of metals, e.g. Cu, Pb and Sn. The objective of this work was to investigate the bioleaching of a material, originating from a technical waste processing facility, as one possible way of a complete separation of the metals from the polymer carrier. During the leaching experiments the mechanism of the leaching process was investigated, and biofilms and precipitates were analyzed by microscopical (SEM) and spectroscopical methods (EDX, XRF, XRD). The enhanced formation of exopolymer layers seems to promote the precipitation of secondary mineral particles beneath and the sorption of particles from the suspension on the layer surface.
Axel Schippers, Wolfgang Sand, Franz Glombitza and Sabine Willscher
S. Willscher et al., "Microbial Leaching of Metals from Printed Circuit Boards", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 20-21, pp. 99-102, 2007