Tecnologia em Metalurgia, Materiais e Mineração
Tecnologia em Metalurgia, Materiais e Mineração
Original Article


Luciana Harue Yamanz, Carina Ulsen, Denise Crocce Romando Espinosa, Jorge Alberto Soares Tenório

Downloads: 0
Views: 74


Precious metal content is much higher in electronic waste than in most worldwide mines, and therefore recycling is encouraged and mostly performed by hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical processes. This paper addresses a combined mechanical bio-hydrometallurgical recycling process for extracting gold, copper and iron from printed circuit boards as a less expensive technology feasible for the Brazilian context. Metal recovery was carried out by combining physical, chemical and biological processes. The combined process proved to be technically viable; the microbiological route using adapted bacteria Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans-LR is also eco-friendly. Mechanical processes recovered 97% of the iron by magnetic separation, the bioleaching extracted 99% of the copper, and 86% of the gold was recovered during the last stage of cyanidation.


Printed circuit boards; Combined recycling route; Bioleaching; Hydrometallurgy.


1 Andrade DF, Romanelli JP, Pereira-Filho ER. Past and emerging topics related to electronic waste management: top countries, trends, and perspectives. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International. 2019;26:17135-17151.

2 Abdelbasir SM, Hassan SSM, Kamel AH, El-Nasr RS. Status of electronic waste recycling techniques: a review. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International. 2018;25:16533-16547.

3 Odeola FO. WEEE generation and the consequences of its improper disposal. In: Vegliò F, Birloaga I. Waste electrical and electronic equipment recycling - aqueous recovery methods. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Series in Electronic and Optical Materials; 2018. p. 13-31.

4 Serafim M, Maia M. Tratamento do resíduo eletrônico na perspectiva da inclusão social. In: Costa AB. Tecnologia social & políticas públicas. São Paulo: Instituto Pólis; Brasília: Fundação Banco do Brasil; 2013. p. 85-112.

5 Rodrigues AC. Fluxo domiciliar de geração e destinação de resíduos de equipamentos elétricos e eletrônicos no município de São Paulo/SP: caracterização e subsídios para políticas públicas [tese] São Paulo: Universidade de São Paulo; 2012.

6 Araújo MG. Modelo de avaliação do ciclo de vida para a gestão de resíduos de equipamentos eletroeletrônicos no Brasil [tese] Rio de Janeiro: Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; 2013.

7 Agência Brasileira de Desenvolvimento Industrial, organizador. Logística reversa de equipamentos eletroeletrônicos: análise da viabilidade técnica e econômica. Brasília: ABDI; 2013. 179 p.

8 Cui J, Zhang L. Metallurgical recovery of metals from electronic waste: a Review. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2008;158:228-256.

9 Park YJ, Fray DJ. Recovery of high purity precious metals from printed circuit boards. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2009;164:1152-1158.

10 Zeng X, Zheng L, Xie H, Lu B, Xia K, Chao K, et al. Current status and future perspective of waste printed circuit boards recycling. Procedia Environmental Sciences. 2012;16:590-597.

11 Chen Y, Sheu J-B, Lirn T-C. Fault tolerance modeling for an e-waste recycling supply chain. Transportation Research Part E, Logistics and Transportation Review. 2012;48:897-906.

12 Tsydenova O, Bengtsson M. Chemical hazards associated with treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment. Waste Management (New York, N.Y.). 2011;31:45-58.

13 Pant D, Joshi D, Upreti M, Kotnala R. Chemical and biological extraction of metals present in E-waste: a hybrid technology. Waste Management (New York, N.Y.). 2012;32:979-990.

14 Anjum F, Shahid M, Akcil A. Biohydrometallurgy techniques of low grade ores: a review on black shale. Hydrometallurgy. 2012;117-118:1-12.

15 Garcia O Jr. Estudos da Biolixiviação de Minérios de Urânio por Thiobacillus ferrooxidans [tese]. Campinas: Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas; 1989.

16 Lynn NS. The bioleaching and processing of refractory gold ore: overview. Journal of the Minerals Metals & Materials Society. 1997;49:24-26.

17 Das N. Recovery of precious metals through biosorption — A review. Hydrometallurgy. 2010;103:180-189.

18 Fuente-Núñez C, Reffuveille F, Fernández L, Hancock R. Bacterial biofilm development as a multicellular adaptation: antibiotic resistance and new therapeutic strategies. Current Opinion in Microbiology. 2013;16:580-589.

19 Quatrini R, Johnson DB. Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. Trends in Microbiology. 2019;27:282-283.

20 Gu W, Bai J, Dong B, Zhuang X, Zhao J, Zhang C, et al. Catalytic effect of graphene in bioleaching copper from waste printed circuit boards by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. Hydrometallurgy. 2017;171:172-178.

21 Priya A, Hait S. Extraction of metals from high grade waste printed circuit board by conventional and hybrid bioleaching using Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. Hydrometallurgy. 2018;177:132-139.

22 Wang S, Chen L, Zhou X, Yan W, Ding R, Chen B, et al. Enhanced bioleaching efficiency of copper from printed circuit boards without iron loss. Hydrometallurgy. 2018;180:65-71.

23 Tuovinen OH, Kelly DP. Studies on the growth of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans - Use of membrane filters and ferrous iron agar to determine viable number and comparison CO2 fixation and iron oxidation as measures of growth. Archives of Microbiology. 1973;88:285-298.

24 Nemati M, Harrison STL, Hansford GS, Webb C. Biological oxidation of ferrous sulfate by Thiobacillus ferrooxidans: a review on the kinetic aspects. Biochemical Engineering Journal. 1998;•••:171-190.

25 Yamane LH, Moraes VT, Espinosa DC, Tenório JA. Recycling of WEEE: Characterization of spent printed circuit boards from mobile phones and computers. Waste Management (New York, N.Y.). 2011;31:2553-2558.

26 Ciminelli VST, Gomes ADG. Princípios da cianetação. In: Trindade RBE, Barbosa O Fo. Extração do ouro – princípios, tecnologia e meio ambiente. Rio de Janeiro: Centro de Tecnologia Mineral; 2002. p. 51-82.

27 Mousav SM, Yaghmaei S, Salimi F, Jafari A. Influence of process variables on biooxidation of ferrous sulfate by an indigenous Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. Part I: flask experiments. Fuel. 2006;85:2555-2560.

28 Liang G, Tang J, Liu W, Zhou Q. Optimizing mixed culture of two acidophiles to improve copper recovery from printed circuit boards (PCBs). Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2013;250-251:234-245.

29 Guo Q, Yue X, Wang M, Liu Y. Pyrolisis of scrap printed circuit board plastic particles in a fluidized bed. Powder Technology. 2010;198:422-428.

30 Ilyas S, Anwar MA, Nianzi SB, Ghauri MA. Bioleaching of Metals from Electronic Scrap by Moderately Thermophilic Acidophilic Bacteria. Hydrometallurgy. 2007;88:180-188.

31 Li H-M, Ke J-J. Influence of Ni+2 and Mg+2 on the growth and activity of Cu+2-adapted Thiobacillus ferrooxidans. Hydrometallurgy. 2001;61:151-156.

32 Yang Y, Diao M, Liu K, Qian L, Nguyen A, Qiu G. Column bioleaching of low-grade copper ore by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans in pure and mixed cultures with a heterotrophic acidophile Acidiphilium sp. Hydrometallurgy. 2013;131-132:93-98.

33 Brandl HB, Bosshard R, Wegmann M. Computer-munching microbes: metal leaching from electronic scrap by bacteria and fungi. Hydrometallurgy. 2001;59:319-326.

34 Wang J, Bai J, Xu J, Liang B. Bioleaching of metals from printed wire boards by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and their mixture. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2009;172:1100-1105.

35 Vestola E, Kuusenaho MK, Narhi HM, Tuovinen OH, Puhakka JA, Plumb JJ, et al. Acid bioleaching of solid waste materials from copper, steel and recycling industries. Hydrometallurgy. 2010;103:74-79.

36 Gaylard C. Bioextraction and biodeterioration of metals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1995. p. 154.

37 Valdívia DNU. Bacterial leaching of refractory gold ores [thesis] São Paulo: Universidade de São Paulo; 2013.

38 Lewis G, Gaydardzhiev S, Bastin D, Barrel P. Bio hydrometallurgical Recovery of Metals from Fine Shredder Residues. Minerals Engineering. 2011;24:1166-1171.

39 Choi M-S, Cho K-S, Kim D-S, Kim D-J. Microbial recovery of copper from printed circuit boards of waste computer by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. Journal of Environmental Science and Health. 2004;A39:1-10.

40 Xiang Y, Wu P, Zhu N, Zhang T, Liu W, Wu J, et al. Bioleaching of copper from waste printed circuit boards by bacterial consortium enriched from acid mine drainage. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2010;184:812-818.

41 Mendhan J, Denney RC, Barnes JD, Thomas MJK. Vogel’s quantitative chemical analysis. 6th ed. England: Prentice Hall; 2000.

42 Brittain MI. Variables activation energy model for leaching kinetics. Rio de Janeiro: Centro de Tecnologia Mineral; 2002. p. 321-331.

43 Zheng J, Ritchie IM, La Brooy SR, Singh P. Study of gold leaching in oxygenated solutions containing cyanide–copper–ammonia using rotating quartz crystal microbalance. Hydrometallurgy. 1995;99:277-292.

44 Senanayake G. A review of effects of silver, lead, sulfide and carbonaceous matter on gold cyanidation and mechanistic interpretation. Hydrometallurgy. 2008;90:46-73.

Submetido em:

Aceito em:

5f7378790e88259c400499b0 tmm Articles
Links & Downloads

Tecnol. Metal. Mater. Min.

Share this page
Page Sections