Indexed on: 12 Jun '14Published on: 12 Jun '14Published in: Advances in biochemical engineering/biotechnology
This chapter explains the manifold geobiotechnological possibilities to separate industrial valuable metals from various industrial residues and stored waste products of the past. In addition to an overview of the different microbially catalyzed chemical reactions applicable for a separation of metals and details of published studies, results of many individual investigations from various research projects are described. These concern the separation of rare earth elements from phosphorous production slags, the attempts of tin leaching from mining flotation residues, the separation of metals from spent catalysts, or the treatment of ashes as valuable metal-containing material. The residues of environmental technologies are integrated into this overview as well. The description of the different known microbial processes offers starting points for suitable and new technologies. In addition to the application of chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms the use of heterotrophic microorganisms is explained.