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Article Title

Bioleaching of nickel by Aspergillus humicola SKP102 isolated from Indian lateritic overburden

Abstract

The lateritic deposits spread over the Eastern Ghats of Sukinda Valley, Odisha, India, produce a huge amount of overburden annually as a byproduct of chromite mining. This chromite mining overburden contains nickel, the only source of the metal in the country. During this study Aspergillus humicola SKP102, an indigenous fungus isolated from the mining overburden was employed for the leaching of nickel. About 53.89% of the nickel could be leached by the fungus when grown in batch mode using a Czapek dox medium containing 2% (w/v) of the mining overburden. The parameters affecting bioleaching were optimized in order to grow the fungus and leach the metal. Of the different options of cheap carbon sources, straw infusion and molasses emerged as viable options for the growth of the fungus and the leaching of nickel. Two-step and indirect techniques were also used for this purpose, and they resulted in 53.09% and 65.04% Ni leaching respectively. Adding diluted sulfuric acid to the leaching medium resulted in 97.05% nickel recovery from the overburden pulp. A. humicola SKP102 could be a potential tool for leaching nickel from the mining overburden.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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