Bioleaching of Copper from Auto-Switch and Inverter Printed Circuit Board using Microbial Metabolites

IJEP 42(10): 1202-1207 : Vol. 42 Issue. 10 (October 2022)

Riddhi I. Mistri, Rinkal J. Chaudhary, Jhanvi K. Rathi, Shital C. Thacker and Devayani R. Tipre*

Gujarat University, Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, School of Sciences, Ahmedabad – 380 009, Gujarat, India


Electronic equipment commonly known as e-waste is the fastest-growing solid waste in the world. E-waste is nowadays preferentially used for the recovery of metals from printed circuit boards (PCBs). The PCB is a significant part of all electronic waste, and it is a potential source of different metals, thus known as an urban mine. The study aimed to enhance the extraction of copper from pulverised waste printed circuit boards (WPCBs) using an iron-oxidising consortium from the inverter and auto-switch WPCBs. Microbial leaching is based mainly on the potential of microorganisms to generate lixiviants that mobilise metals from PCBs. Iron-oxidising bacteria generate ferric iron and protons that extract several metals in the aqueous phase. In this study, optimisation of various parameters was done. Optimised conditions for inverter WPCBs and auto-switch WPCBs showed more than 95% extraction of copper at pH 1.8 to 2.0, ferrous iron concentration from 6% to 8% and pulp density of 10%.


Waste printed circuit boards, Auto-switch, Inverter, Bioleaching, Oxidising iron bacteria, Consortium, Copper


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