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Gold recovery of printed circuit boards of obsolete computers by biohydrometallurgical process


The short lifetimes of electrical and electronic equipment result in the production of increased amounts of waste materials. The metal presence, in especial, the precious metals, in the e-waste composition, arouse the economic interest in recovering the same. The electronic waste can be an alternative source to obtain metals, reducing the mineral reserves exploitation, and energy saving, since the primary process of metals extraction, the metal is obtained by reduction with high energy consumption and the secondary process, the metal is primarily obtained by scrap melting, since it metallic, and energy consumption is lower. Because of the exhaustion of mineral reserves, it is necessary to develop methods of treating ores containing low levels of the interest metal. Among the hydrometallurgical process applied on mining-metallurgical sector, the biohydrometallurgy, which is based on the use of microorganisms to promote the metals solubilization, can be a potential alternative. Considering the electronic waste as a secondary source of precious metals, and bioleaching as a treatment alternative with respect to conventional methods, this Project seeks to determinate a route for gold recovery contained in the printed circuit board of computers by applying these techniques together. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
Mining with microbes 
Minería con microorganismos 
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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
YAMANE, LUCIANA HARUE; DE MORAES, VIVIANE TAVARES; ROMANO ESPINOSA, DENISE CROCCE; SOARES TENORIO, JORGE ALBERTO. Recycling of WEEE: Characterization of spent printed circuit boards from mobile phones and computers. WASTE MANAGEMENT, v. 31, n. 12, p. 2553-2558, DEC 2011. Web of Science Citations: 151.
LUCIANA HARUE YAMANE; DENISE CROCCE ROMANO ESPINOSA; JORGE ALBERTO SOARES TENÓRIO. Biolixiviação de cobre de sucata eletrônica. Rem: Revista Escola de Minas, v. 64, n. 3, p. -, Set. 2011.

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Filed patent(s) as a result of this research project

PROCESSO DE BIOLIXIVIAÇÃO DE METAIS BR1020120216124 - Universidade de São Paulo (USP) . Denise Crocce Romano Espinosa; Jorge Alberto Soares Tenório; Luciana Harue Yamane - August 2012, 29