Bioleaching is the extraction of specific metals from their ores through the use of bacteria.
- They do this by producing leachate solutions that contain the metal compounds.
- A leachate is the solution we get when a liquid passes through an organism.
Bioleaching can be used to extract copper from its ore in a relatively clean process
- It is very economical as it is simple which makes it a cheap process it is also environmentally friendly
- Unlike traditional methods of extracting copper, where several damaging gases e.g sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide are produced during smelting.
Bioleaching can be used on low grade ores and this is important because high grade ores are limied in their availability.
However process is very slow compared to smelting, toxic chemicals produced which are harmful to the environment.
- A lot of time waste as efficiency by which the bacteria convert the copper ore into copper metals is very slow.
- After both phytoming and bioleaching copper ions remain in solution elemental copper is produced from these solutions either by adding scrap iron
- This is so that the copper metal is displaced by the more reactove iron or by electrolysing the copper salt solution.
That is all for biobleaching!