Main content area

Bioleaching of Heavy Metals from Textile Sludge by Indigenous Sulfur-and-Iron-Oxidizing Microorganisms Using Elemental Sulfur and Ferrous Sulfate as Energy Sources: A Comparative Study

Kumar, Kapil, Suthar, Surindra, Dastidar, M. G., Sreekrishnan, T. R.
Geomicrobiology journal 2014 v.31 no.10 pp. 847-854
copper, energy, ferrous sulfate, heavy metals, iron, land application, microorganisms, nickel, pH, sludge, solubilization, sulfur, zinc, India
The present study was undertaken to investigate the potential of enriched indigenous sulfur-and-iron-oxidizing microorganisms in the bioleaching of Cu, Ni, Zn and Fe from textile sludges by using elemental sulfur and ferrous sulfate (FS), respectively, as an energy source under batch conditions. The experiments were performed with three different textile sludges (S1, S2 and S3) at initial neutral pH of the sludges procured from different parts of the country i.e., UP, Haryana and Punjab. The three sludges used were not only procured from different parts of the country but also differ in physiochemical characteristics. The extent of heavy metals solubilization in each sludge was found to be different using sulfur- and iron-oxidizing microorganisms. The results of the study indicate that sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms were found more efficient in the bioleaching process, irrespective of any sludge. The use of sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms led to higher solubilization of heavy metals and after 7 days of bioleaching about 84–96% Cu, 64–78% Ni, 81–92% Zn and 74–88% Fe were removed compared to 62–73% Cu, 62–66% Ni, 74–78% Zn and 70–78% Fe using iron-oxidizing microorganisms. This study had shown the feasibility of applying the bioleaching process to textile sludge contaminated with heavy metals. The results of the present study indicate that the bioleached sludge would be safer for land application.