Release of critical metals from furnace wastes using the process of bioleaching


The influence of types of bioleaching on the efficiency of elimination of selected critical metals from ashes that are the byproduct of thermal processing of sewage sludge and communal sludge.

Project/study aim

The aim of the study was determining the influence of various types of the process of bioleaching on the efficiency disposal of selected critical metals: rhodium, cadmium, indium, niobium, chromium from ashes that are a byproduct of thermal processing of sewage and communal sludge.

Research method

Study of the content of critical metals in waste, leaching solutions, study of concentration of sulphates, microbiological studies of leaching solutions.

History of execution

The studies were conducted at the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in the framework of preparatory works to an implementation project.

Effect of implementation

In the course of the works, various options of leaching cultures were developed, enabling the elimination of over 90 % rhodium, cadmium, niobium, over 60% indium and 50% chromium. The studies can also serve as a preparation of a prototype of a pilot installation.

Information on achieved innovations

Innovation possible to achieve is the recovery of critical metals from combustion stable wastes products with the use of microbiological processes.

Impact of the result on: development of science, economy, society

Critical metals are the ones that have limited resources, and the demand for which grows taking into account intensive development of industry and new technologies. The method of bioleaching gives promising results and may become an important process of critical metal acquisition.