Possibilities of recovery of dispersed metals occurring in black shale using microorganisms

Kazimierz Sztaba, Elżbieta Konopka


Some shales formations situated within Poland contain an increased amount of several metals. These metals are, however, widely dissipated, as well as occurring in homogenous forms, therefore, their recovery requires the application of non-conventional methods. We made preliminary investigations of the utilization of microbiological methods for this purpose. In research into the recovery of U, V, Mo, Zn and Pb from the black shale, bacteria of the genus Thiobacillus ferrooxidans were utilized. During experiments of 7 months duration with periodic exchanges of the leaching solution the following recoveries were obtained: Zn - 95%, Pb - 55%, U - 75%, Mo - 60% and V - 47%. These results give a good prognosis for further applications of microbiological methods in the recovery of metals dissipated in shale material.

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