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Bioleaching and Phytomining - Extraction of Copper

Looking at ways to extract copper

Zoe Osterloh

on 11 October 2012

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Transcript of Bioleaching and Phytomining - Extraction of Copper

Extraction of Copper from Ores Phytoming and Bioleaching Phytomining - How It works! This is one way of extracting copper from low grade ores- which are less than 1% copper. Advantages It is used when it is not economically viable to extract with other methods. Other stuff about Phytomining
Phytomining is used to extract metal from land that is contaminated. Bioleaching- How it works. When bacteria feed on the low grade metal ores both biological and chemical processes will mean that a solution of copper ions, called a leachate, will form. Bioleaching- Advantages EFFICIENT Select plants will absorb copper compounds through their roots, and the compounds are therefore concentrated. When the plants are burned, the ash that is produced will contain these copper compounds. The ash is dissolved with sulphuric acid. The acid and copper react, displacing the ash to leave ash and copper sulphate. The copper is then extracted from the copper sulphate by displacement by scrap iron, or electrolysis. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY It is possible to induce the ability to accumulate a high concentration of metal compounds in to plants. Sometimes, the land on which the plants are grown will be slag heaps left over from the previous extraction of higher concentrated ores. These techniques are used for low grade ores – ores with less than 1% copper. Then, the copper will be extracted from the leachate by electrolysis or scrap iron. There are some bacteria that will absorb compounds of copper. The bacteria produce solutions called leachates, which will contain copper compounds. ECO-FRIENDLY - no gases that will harm the environment are produced. It is very easy to operate a bioleaching plant. Relatively, it is a cheap way of extracting copper - however it is a very slow process. Bioleaching - Interesting Stuff About 20% of extracted copper is extracted by the technique of bioleaching. Bioleaching takes place in countries that include Mexico and Chile.
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