Bioleaching processes were used to solubilize metals (Cu, Ni, Zn and Al) from printed circuit boards (PCBs). In this study, a PCBs-adapted pure culture of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, pure culture of Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and PCBs-adapted mixed culture of A. ferrooxidans and A. thiooxidans were used for recovery of the metals. The study showed that the mixed bacterial culture has the greatest potential to dissolve metals. The maximum metal bioleaching efficiencies were found to be 100, 92, 89 and 20% of Cu, Ni, Zn and Al, respectively. The mixed culture revealed higher bacterial stability. The main factor responsible for high metal recovery was the ability of the mixed culture to maintain the low pH during the whole process. The pure culture of A. thiooxidans had no significant effect on metal bioleaching from PCBs.
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