Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Optimization Routes for the Bioleaching of MSWI Fly and Bottom Ashes Using Microorganisms Collected from a Natural System

Funari, V.; Gomes, H.I.; Cappelletti, M.; Fedi, S.; Dinelli, E.; Rogerson, M.; Mayes, W.M.; Rovere, M.


V. Funari

M. Cappelletti

S. Fedi

E. Dinelli

M. Rogerson

W.M. Mayes

M. Rovere


This paper presents a route for the treatment of MSWI fly (FA) and bottom ashes (BA) using
microorganisms to critically assess whether bioleaching is within reach of effective industrial application.
The leaching of metals from BA and FA was investigated in a controlled laboratory environment using a
culture isolated from a natural system where the dominant strains are acidophilic bacteria, mainly
Acidothiobacillus thiooxidans and Acidothiobacillus ferrooxidans. The community of microorganisms
(mostly acidophilic, S- and Fe-oxidizing bacteria) was collected directly from overflows and ponds at the
sediment-water interface of a natural system near a post-mining site. Pre-cultivation was done in 250 mL
flasks followed by the adaptation to the different substrates (both FA and BA). The effect of different
material pre-treatment and elemental sulphur concentrations were evaluated for both BA and FA, at a
starting pH of 4. The bioleaching of BA and FA substrates experienced good yields of metal extraction with
an optimum duration of two weeks. The results showed that more than 90% Zn, Cu, and 10% Pb are
removed from FA; while 100% Cu, 80% Zn and 20% Pb are removed from BA samples. Batch experiments
with regenerating ion-exchange resins did not perform well for metal recovery, but could serve as a valuable
decontamination step. The techniques used here with FA and BA can be used for urban mining purposes
(e.g. ashes and other meal-rich anthropogenic wastes), but also low-grade ores in the mining industry,
contributing to resource recovery or decontamination agendas.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 9, 2019
Print ISSN 1877-2641
Electronic ISSN 1877-265X
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 12
Pages 3833-3842
APA6 Citation Funari, V., Gomes, H., Cappelletti, M., Fedi, S., Dinelli, E., Rogerson, M., …Rovere, M. (2019). Optimization Routes for the Bioleaching of MSWI Fly and Bottom Ashes Using Microorganisms Collected from a Natural System. Waste and Biomass Valorization, 10(12), 3833-3842.
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Waste and Biomass Valorization. The final authenticated version is available online at:


You might also like

Downloadable Citations