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Tolerance of bioleaching microorganisms to heavy metals and alkali stress

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Document pages: 9 pages

Abstract: By evaluating the response of bacteria to various heavy metals (including arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, nickel, lead and zinc), the bioleaching potential of Bacillus mucus and Aspergillus niger on industrial residues was studied. The toxic effects of each metal were determined by plate diffusion method. Liquid batch culture was established for more quantitative evaluation and to study the effect of alkalinity. The growth curve was drawn using bacterial fungal growth counting techniques such as plate counting, optical density measurement and dry biomass measurement. Cadmium, nickel and arsenite had negative effects on the growth of Bacillus mucus, while Aspergillus niger was sensitive to cadmium and arsenicte. However, it was shown that growth recovered when microorganisms cultured in the presence of these metals were inoculated onto metal-free medium. Based on the findings of the bacteriostatic fungistatic effect of the metals and the adaptability of the microorganisms to fairly elevated pH values, it is concluded that both strains have potential applicability for further research concerning bioleaching of alkaline waste materials.

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